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Embroidery machines for small projects

beth_silva | Posted in Sewing Machines & Sergers on

Ladies (and gents, in case there are any),

Wanting to get an embroidery machine – probably a stand-alone system and not a hybrid – all-in-one – machine. For home usage, not commercial. Does anyone have experience on Janome, Babylock or Brother for embroidery (any of this list https://sewingland.org/best-embroidery-machine/)? Just thought I’d see what machines you guys use, what you do and don’t like about your machine, and just any general advice to help with my purchase decision.

Another question is how do you learn which stabilizers to use with what projects? I consider this to be the biggest issue with whole embroidery thing I’m getting in, so as I’ve already mentioned in my introduction, I just came back to sewing and any advice would be appreciated!


  1. user-4998287 | | #1

    I just got a Brother pe800 embroidery only machine and it’s been fun to play with and very intuitive. It’s perfect for what I need. It has a 5x7 hoop and I bought a 4x4. As for stabilizers there’s a bit of trial and error. I’m making freestanding Lace so I’ve been trying different wash away stabilizers.

    1. rebeccadmichael | | #5

      I have also bought brother embroidery machine and it is soo awesome. Check review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYZla9ITpwA

  2. kmegamom | | #2

    I have three embroidery machines. I started with a small 4 x 4 hoop Brother embroidery/sewing machine, not knowing how much I would use the embroidery I figured I would at least use the sewing machine part. I quickly learned that I absolutely loved embroidery and wanted more size options so I bought a Brother Duetta NV4500D. Now I know you said embroidery only, this one is a combo machine, again I use both parts a lot. It stitches up to a 12 x 7 field and I find that size is a great size. I love my Brother machines for the ease of use. They are super user friendly and the customer service from Brother Company is beyond excellent! That being said, the combo machine is costly! I also recently bought a Janome 500E embroidery only machine. The cost was good, I could afford this one better then the multi use machines. I really like the Janome for many reasons, it has a lot of options, if you get a good deal you can ask for cool stuff with it, like some quilting programs, I bought a hat hoop for it which my husband likes. Once you learn it it’s a great machine but it’s not as user friendly as Brother, the users manual is not useful. And they pretty much don’t have any customer service! I learned how to use it by watching videos on YouTube. It runs great, it has a great assortment of hoops including a 12 x 8 and my favorite hoop is a large 7.8 x 7.8; it’s great for quilt blocks. As far as learning stabilizer there are great tutorials, one of my favorite sites to buy from has all the tutorials you need for types of fabric and what stabilizer to use, which designs need what stabilizer, that site is the company Embroider Library and their web address is http://www.Emblibrary.com. Every design they put out has full instructions, including type of stabilizer and a thread color sheet. You can use any color you want and the thread color guide is a suggestion to make it as shown. Their customer service is really good as well. They put out new designs every Tuesdayalong with a sale and a free design every month.

  3. User avater
    Heather_wing | | #3

    I agree with the first comment, if you're looking for an embroidery only option then Brother PE800 would be a nice one. Brother machines are really user friendly, I had a Brother starter machine (from this list https://wisepick.org/best-embroidery-machine/), bought it used, sold it and it has been sold again and still going strong. It was a 4x4" design machine and has been outgrown by several peeps.
    When I decided that it's time to progress, I just switched to another one.
    Have a look at them.

    About stabilizers: just try different options. Because there are so many different weights of stabilizers out there for the tear aways you can get away with just purchasing the light weight and double up if in need of a medium or heavy weight.
    And another piece of advice - making a sample test is a must using the same type of material as your project.

  4. user-6823207 | | #4

    My local Janome dealer has embroidery-only and sew/emb combination machines. They offer free classes to learn the basics of using the machine and for learning the optional software. They also have a club with annual dues of about $45/yr to take you further than the basics. And the employees will help you with specific questions that you may have -they are always available to help. You don't need to make an appointment

  5. jeremy009 | | #6

    Well, I think Brother Persona PRS100 (https://sewingmachineprice.com/brother-persona-prs100-review/) is the best yet affordable embroidery machine. It is a high-priced embroidery machine if we compare it with PE800 but it can be used for professional embroidery also. It comes with fast embroidery speed and tons of features at a great price.
    I have had this machine for the last couple of months and it is doing well. I am also considering buying a backup embroidery machine and I think PE800 would do best as you also suggested.

  6. osewviolet | | #7

    I have had a Janome 300e for a number of years and I like it. I didn't want a combo machine because I didn't want my main sewing machine to be tied up doing lengthy embroidery. With two separate machines, I can sew on one while minding my embroidery on the other. I only have the two hoops that came with the machine (110mmx110mm and 140mmx200mm). Every once in a while I wish I had a larger hoop, but these two have been fine for me most of the time. I don't do a lot of embroidery so I didn't want to invest in a lot of money for a machine. The Janome fit my price point. I don't like changing thread colors, so I am usually looking for designs without many changes. The needle threader on this machine is rudimentary, but then it is an older machine. I agree with the others, information on stabilizers is out there, just check around. The manufacturers of stabilizers have information on their products.

  7. rebeccadmichael | | #8

    If you want to expand your embroidery business then probably you would want to move from single-head to multi-head embroidery machines.

    A multi-head embroidery machine is robust and faster, which is why if you are a growing business then sooner or later you would require a multi-head embroidery machine.

    When you start with an embroidery machine, the first thing you notice is how large is the sewing field area, because if you have to cover all of your projects then you should buy a machine that gives you ample space.

    Financing is the second most important thing because investing in an embroidery machine would cost you thousands of dollars.


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