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Want to learn more about the Brother SE1900 sewing and embroidery machine? I upgraded to the Brother SE1900 from the Brother SE625 over a year ago now, and I LOVE it.
It is one of the most feature-rich Brother embroidery machines you can purchase without locating a dealer. It’s also a highly versatile machine with great stitch quality whether you’re sewing or embroidering.
So, if you’re interested in this nifty machine, my Brother SE1900 review will detail its features, provide tips for use, answer common questions, and discuss pros & cons.
Quick Brother SE1900 Review of Features
First, let’s review some of the basic features of the Brother SE1900 sewing and embroidery machine.
- Weight: 22.1 lbs (although my box weighed 39 lbs when I got it!)
- Dimensions: 13.4″ x 23.2″ x 11.5″
- Built-in stitches: 240, including 10 automatic buttonhole stitches
- Built-in embroidery designs: 138 designs, 11 fonts (7 in English), and 10 frames with 14 border options
- Embroidery field size: 5″x7″
- Presser feet included: 7 sewing feet + 1 embroidery foot
- Maximum sewing speed: 850 stitches per minute
- Feed dog points: 7
- LCD touch-screen: access features through this colored 3.2″ smart touchscreen
- Lighting: LED above stitching area
- Warranty: 25-year limited warranty (make sure to read the warranty’s fine print for specifics!)
What’s In the Box?
Here’s what came in the box with my machine.
- Machine unit, power cord, and foot controller
- Sewing accessories: 7 sewing machine presser feet, knee lifter
- Embroidery accessories: embroidery arm, embroidery foot, one spool embroidery bobbin thread (60 weight, white), embroidery foot, and 5″x7″ embroidery hoop
- Tools and accessories: 4 bobbins, 4 spool caps, extra spool pin contraption for twin needle sewing, spool net, scissors, 3 screwdrivers, cleaning brush, seam ripper, and eyelet punch
- Needles: one twin needle (2/11 size), 2 75/11 needles, 2 90/14 needles, and 2 90/14 ballpoint needles
- Grid sheet set
- Manual, quick reference guide, embroidery design guide, one free pattern coupon for iBroidery.com, and warranty information
I thought it might come with a dust cover as my SE625 did, so I was a little bummed that wasn’t the case. I also was hoping it would have a smaller hoop included, too, but it didn’t.
The Brother SE625 hoops are not compatible with the Brother SE1900, so I bought a set of 4 extra hoops off Amazon.
To get started embroidering immediately, you will need to purchase several other items like stabilizer and embroidery thread. Check out my embroidery machine supplies list to decide what’s a must-have for your embroidery aspirations!
Sewing with the Brother SE1900
Let’s talk about some of the sewing features of this machine first!
Automatic Functions For Easier Use
These automatic features will make setting up and using the Brother SE1900 a breeze.
1. Advanced Needle Threader
With the advanced needle threader, there is no need to worry about threading the needle by hand. Simply wind the thread around this contraption and depress a lever on the side. Then, the threader pulls the thread through the eye of the needle.
The presser foot does have to be down for the needle threader to work accurately, which took some getting used to at first.
I historically have not been a fan of the Brother sewing machine needle threaders because they are delicate and a pain to use, but the Brother embroidery machine threaders are MUCH BETTER.
I did accidentally bend the hook inside my threader after a year of use, but it was thankfully easy and inexpensive to replace. This is the Brother SE1900 replacement needle threader I purchased if you need an extra.
2. Automatic Reinforcement/Reverse Stitches
When selecting stitches on the Brother SE1900, you can choose if you want to sew automatic reverse or reinforcement stitches at the beginning and end of a line of stitching.
3. Automatic Thread Trimming
You can also opt for automatic thread trimming at the end of your SEWING projects.
Unfortunately, the Brother SE1900 does not automatically cut jump threads when embroidering. You have to upgrade to the 6″x10″ hoop machine for that. (I recommend the Brother NQ3600E.)
4. Automatic Tension Default
Whereas most sewing machines have a dial for manually adjusting tension, the Brother SE1900 automatically adjusts tension.
What this means here is when you select a stitch, the machine sets itself to a tension value based on the selected stitch. You may still need to go in and manually adjust depending on your fabric or thread, but this default value is a time-saving feature.
Quick-Set, Top-Drop Bobbin
Bobbin winding occurs on the machine’s top, after which the bobbin is dropped into the bobbin case at the base of the machine.
Top-drop bobbin just means the bobbin is loaded into the top of the bobbin case rather than horizontally like on many other machines.
With a quick-set bobbin, there’s no need to draw up the bobbin thread yourself. The machine pulls it up automatically once you start sewing. Of course, you are also able to pull the bobbin thread up yourself if you need to.
And, when the bobbin thread is running low, you get this nice reminder below that it’s time to change it! I’m an oblivious sewer sometimes, so it’s nice to be reminded so I don’t run out of thread in the middle of a project.
Which sewing presser feet are included, and can you buy more?
There are 7 sewing feet included with the Brother SE1900.
They also come in a cool tray stored inside the accessories compartment. This was arguably the most exciting and unexpected find when I opened my machine for the first time! Here’s what they are:
- Spring-action zigzag foot: your everyday sewing foot
- Overcasting foot: use with the overcasting stitch to finish edges and also create a seam
- Buttonhole foot: sew on a perfectly sized buttonhole
- Button fitting foot: sew on a button
- Blind stitch foot: create a blind hem on a garment
- Zipper foot: add a zipper
- Monogramming foot: use with the decorative sewing stitches
One great thing about this machine is that you can purchase more compatible presser feet separately!
240 Stitches?! – What Are They?
There are more included stitches on the Brother SE1900 than you’ll probably ever use!
The top of the machine features a flip-up top with the stitches on it. This was an improvement over my SE625, where I had to use the manual or scroll through the screen to know which number I needed for the stitch I wanted.
Here’s the stitch breakdown:
- 4 straight stitches (left and center needle, with and without automatic reinforcement/reverse)
- 1 each of triple stretch, stem, basting, blind hem, blind hem stretch, shell tuck, scallop, patchwork join, patchwork double overlock, couching, smocking, feather, fagoting, tape-attaching, ladder, rick-rack, and serpentine stitches
- 4 zigzag stitches, and 1 each of 2-step and 3-step zigzag stitches
- 9 overcasting stitches
- 5 stitches for use with the Brother side cutter presser foot
- Quilting: 3 piecing stitches (left, right, middle needle) and 4 other quilting stitches
- 22 hemstitches
- 10 automatic one-step buttonhole stitches
- 2 darning stitches and 1 each of darning, button sewing, and eyelet stitches
- 8 reverse and sideways stitches for attaching appliques (this is a REALLY cool feature!)
- Countless other decorative stitches, utility decorative stitches, satin stitches, and cross-stitch stitches!
If these fancy stitch names mean nothing to you, or you can’t see the picture well enough above, check out this visual Brother SE1900 stitch guide.
Have an idea for a stitch not included in these 240? Then design your own using My Custom Stitch (included on the machine) or import one using the machine’s USB drive. You should be able to save about 15 of your own stitch designs in the 128KB memory.
What’s a side cutter foot, and what is it good for?
The Brother SE1900 includes 5 stitches that can be used with the Brother side cutter foot.
The side cutter is an additional presser foot that allows your machine to act like a serger in a few ways. When used with an overcasting type of stitch, the foot sews a seam, finishes fabric edges, and trims excess fabric all at once.
I’ve been less than enthused with my own side cutter’s performance on knits and other stretchy fabrics, so don’t rely on it in place of a serger! However, it’s a GREAT presser foot to have around for producing a faux-serged appearance on cotton. Read more in my tutorial and review of my Brother overlock side cutter foot.
What’s a knee lifter useful for?
The included knee lifter lets you lift the presser foot by pressing your knee on the lever. This means you won’t have to take your hands off your project to raise or lower the presser foot with your hand!
This was my first time having a machine with a knee lifter, so it’s been an adjustment. I like it when I’m trying to sew two pieces of elastic together and need both my hands to hold them underneath the presser foot.
First, a built-in free arm, created with the removal of the flat-bed attachment, allows you to sew cylindrical items such as pant legs or shirt cuffs.
Also, since this is a computerized sewing machine, you can sew with the included foot pedal or use the buttons on the front of the machine.
Furthermore, a speed slider is included along with the buttons.
The foot pedal takes some time to get used to, but it’s nice and heavy and less likely to slide than the foot pedals of many other machines I’ve used. (I ended up making a no-slip foot pedal pad out of an old mouse pad to help, and it has been great!)
And, the Brother SE1900 sews SIDEWAYS and BACKWARDS. How cool is that?
I keep forgetting about this function, but this is something that makes me smile a little on the inside every time I remember to use it. You can do a straight stitch in all 4 directions and a zigzag in all 4 directions.
The one caveat, though, is the length (and width of the zigzag) are preset, and of course, you can only use center needle.
Speaking of center needle, most sewing machines, like my old Brother CS6000i and my Singer 4452 heavy-duty machine, have only three options for needle position: left, right, and center.
Because the Brother SE1900 is awesome, you can set it to ANY position within 3.5mm of center on either side of the needle. This is so handy when sewing projects that require an exact needle position.
And lastly, the side of the machine has a ruler imprinted on it. None of my previous sewing or embroidery machines had this feature, but I’ve been enjoying having it when it comes to making gross measurements for sewing projects.
How good is the Brother SE1900 for quilting?
The Brother SE1900 is one of the best sewing machines for quilting and embroidery both if you’re on a budget.
While there are no included specialty quilting feet, you can purchase your own walking foot, spring-action quilting foot, or 1/4″ piecing foot to add to this machine. The feed dogs do drop (there’s a switch on the machine back) to allow for free-motion quilting.
The Brother SE1900 handles thick quilt layers up to 6mm well (within reason; it’s not a heavy-duty machine, of course!)
The throat space is 7.4″ wide x 4.1″ high, larger than many of the Brother combination quilting and sewing machines. This allows you to create larger projects with ease.
Embroidering with the Brother SE1900
With the included 5″x7″ hoop, the Brother SE1900 embroidery machine is great for a small home business or hobby.
If you decide you want a smaller hoop as well, you can purchase a 4″x4″ hoop (and others) as I did. There’s a big difference in the sizes of the two hoops, as you can see above. Using a smaller hoop uses less stabilizer and stretches small embroidery blanks less.
Since the Brother SE1900 is a single-needle embroidery machine, you must change the thread yourself after each color. While threading is set up to be quick and straightforward, this takes more time than if you owned a multi-needle embroidery machine.
What are the embroidery designs included in the Brother SE1900?
Are the built-in 138 embroidery designs anything you’ll use? Or will you have to make or find your own to import?
To see the complete list, download this Brother embroidery design guide. It’s a lengthy guide and might be a little confusing to search through, so I can quickly help you navigate through it.
First of all, these are the same designs featured on the Brother PE800 embroidery machine.
The 138 built-in designs are on pages 4 and 5 of the design guide. 26 of the designs that count towards the 138 total are floral letters. For in-depth information about each design, such as expected embroidery time and the number of colors per design, scroll to page 18.
11 fonts are included, 7 of which are English. 3 of the fonts are Japanese, and 1 is Cyrillic. For a quick overview of the fonts compared side-by-side, flip to page 38. For details about specific fonts, start at the bottom of page 5. The fonts aren’t all that great, so you will likely want to add others yourself. (Here are some places to download free embroidery fonts!)
There are 10 frame shapes with 14 border designs. Starting at the bottom of page 16, you’ll see the frame shapes. You can choose from a circle, square, oval, diamond, 2 rectangles (vertical/horizontal), 2 shield-like shapes (one like a guitar pick and the other a first responder badge), octagon, and heart. The 14 border designs that you can add to the shapes are situated to the right of each frame option.
Using the LCD Touchscreen to Embroider
When it comes time to choose or edit a pattern, you use the color LCD touchscreen.
Selecting a Pattern
You can select a built-in pattern, a character pattern, or a frame pattern. If you want a pattern that’s not built-in, import it or access a previously saved pattern in the machine’s memory.
Editing the Pattern
One of the best features of the Brother SE1900 is the ability to edit designs on the screen! With drag and drop editing, you can also combine patterns, letters, and frames to make your own designs. Here are some other ways you can edit the pattern before starting to embroider:
- Adjust design size–enlarge or shrink the design proportionately or disproportionately!
- Make a horizontal mirror image
- Rotate the pattern
- Change the thread colors or thread density
- Add letters to an arc
Previewing the Pattern
Once your selected pattern is edited and ready to go, you can preview and check the pattern position on your hooped fabric. This is a helpful feature to help cut down on errors because it is NO fun having to remove embroidery stitching from a project!
If you like the design you’ve made and want to use it again, you can save it to your machine’s memory for later use.
Importing Additional Embroidery Designs
Import designs you’ve found online or created yourself using the built-in USB port on the machine’s side. Plug in a jump drive, and access your designs on the LCD screen easily.
When importing a design, just make sure it’s a compatible format. You have to also unzip all files before importing.
Does the Brother SE1900 come with software?
Unfortunately, there’s no included digitizing software with the purchase of the Brother SE1900. If you want to create designs, you have to purchase your own program.
You can also find free designs, but be careful they are from places you trust! (I’ve compiled a list of my favorite websites to get free embroidery machine designs from if you want to check it out. Also, here’s my list of favorite places to download ITH (in-the-hoop) embroidery designs.)
Do you need software?
Let’s be honest. The built-in designs and fonts on the machine aren’t going to cover every embroidery need you have.
I’m a girly girl who likes swirly monograms, and none of the built-in fonts feature curlicues. If you want to use “prettier” fonts and make elaborate monograms, you have to buy them or have software to make them.
Also, if you want to embroider designs larger than 5″x7,” you have to have embroidery software to split the big designs into smaller pieces.
However, if you don’t think you’ll be doing anything beyond what the machine offers and plan to buy a few designs here and there that don’t need editing, no need for software!
What embroidery software works with the SE1900?
The good news is, most embroidery software will work with the SE1900 as long as you export the final design in .pes format.
To help, I’ve written a post about the best free embroidery software if you do not want to explore paid options. If you only want a simple thumbnail viewer, organizer, or very basic editing software, these are great free options to check out! However, free digitizing software is much more challenging to learn than premium software, in my experience.
In terms of paid embroidery software, my post reviewing some of the best machine embroidery software is a great place to start.
To summarize that quickly, though, two great options for editing and customization are SewWhat-Pro (read: Sew What Pro review of functions) and Embrilliance Essentials. These allow you to add text to designs, create monograms, and perform basic editing tasks. They both offer a free demo to help you decide if you like the software first.
In terms of digitizing, I think Hatch 2 Digitizer and Embrilliance Stitch Artist are the easiest to learn and use if you want to digitize manually.
However, if you just want a program with the ability to convert a basic .jpg or .png to a .pes embroidery file, check out SewArt. This is an auto-digitizing program, which has a lot of limitations. BUT, it is much less expensive than more robust digitizing programs and is relatively easy for beginners to learn.
Is the Brother SE1900 easy to use?
Setting up the machine and threading are straightforward when following instructions in the manual and on the machine’s body. Navigating the LCD screen is simple as well with the help of your manual.
On the touchscreen, you’ll find tutorials if you forget things, and when sewing, the machine will even indicate which presser foot you’re to use with which stitch. So yes, easy to use, in my opinion! What’s more complicated, though, is learning things like how to hoop fabric, how to pick embroidery stabilizers, and how to make your own designs.
Is it suitable for a beginner?
While you’ll find several Brother SE1900 reviews that comment on difficulties as a beginner, the Brother SE1900 is one of the easier machines to learn to sew and embroider with. It just takes a little patience and time investment on your part. You may not understand all the complexities at first, and that’s okay!
(Read: beginner machine embroidery tutorial to learn more about using an embroidery machine!)
When you first get your machine, you’ll notice the manual is LONG.
You may be tempted to take your SE1900 for a test drive immediately, but I recommend reading through the manual first to learn the nuances of the machine. This is going to make your learning curve MUCH less steep, and you’ll have fewer beginner user errors.
If you’re having problems understanding the manual, watch some YouTube videos for step-by-step visual instructions.
However, if you’re not sure you will be fully into embroidery and sewing, you may benefit from choosing a less fully-featured combination machine like the Brother SE600 or Brother SE625. (Read my Brother SE600 review and Brother SE625 review for more information!)
While these include a smaller embroidery area and fewer stitch options, they are almost 1/2 of the price. I started with the Brother SE625, and it was a great starter machine.
What are the disadvantages of this machine?
Most Brother SE1900 reviews sing its praises as a reliable, feature-rich sewing and embroidery combination machine.
One of the most significant disadvantages, though, is the cost. While it’s a less expensive embroidery machine than comparable machines of other brands, The Brother SE1900 is going to be a substantial investment.
If you don’t think you’ll need this much machine, you can look at a few less expensive options, such as the Brother PE800 embroidery only machine plus a basic sewing machine.
Speaking of cost, you are getting a lot of features for a great price. However, you are limited by the 5″x7″ maximum embroidery field area and changing your thread after each color.
Investing in a multi-needle embroidery machine or an embroidery machine with a larger embroidery field is going to cost MUCH more, though! If you’re worried about needing a bigger embroidery area, just know that you can still split embroidery patterns and stitch in multiple sections, rehooping in between, to embroider one large design.
I wish the Brother SE1900 embroidery machine cut jump stitches (the stitches where the machine jumps from one part of the design to another with the same thread color), but that’s not the case. I also wish it came with a dust cover, but I sewed my own.
Troubleshooting and Warranty
As with all machines, make sure to choose the correct materials to prevent user error. Different fabrics may require different needles, threads, and stabilizers. And, take care that you’ve wound the bobbin correctly and threaded the needle the right way!
If your machine stops working after a little while, make sure you’ve kept your receipt to take advantage of the 25-year limited warranty.
Parts, labor, and accessories carry a 1-year warranty, electronic components have a 2-year warranty, and the machine body itself is warrantied for 25 years. If you’re a worrywart like me, you can purchase an extended warranty as well.
Comparing the Brother SE1900
If you’re doing your due diligence before purchasing the Brother SE1900, you probably want to know how it differs from other Brother embroidery machines!
Brother SE1900 vs. SE1950
The only difference between the Brother SE1900 and the new Brother SE1950 is the color and pattern of the faceplate on the front of the machine.
I had hoped the newest model would have WiFi design transfer or something else awesome. However, I confirmed with Brother that the SE1950 is only a cosmetic update to the SE1900.
Brother SE1900 vs. PE800
The main difference when comparing Brother SE1900 vs. Brother PE800 is the PE800 is an embroidery-only machine.
With the Brother SE1900, you’re getting the sewing features, including a ton of stitches and included presser feet. As such, the SE1900 is usually going to cost more than the PE800.
In terms of embroidery, both machines feature the same 138 built-in embroidery designs, fonts, and frames. Both machines are used similarly, have a maximum embroidery area of 5″x7″, and provide top-notch stitching.
The color LCD display features the same editing ability, and you can import additional designs by plugging a jump-drive into the side of the machine.
Read my full Brother PE800 review!
Brother SE1900 vs SE600 vs SE625
When comparing the Brother SE1900 vs. SE600, the SE1900 is bigger and better.
Both machines are sewing and embroidery combination machines and include the same 7 sewing presser feet. Both also have a color LCD touchscreen to select patterns. Additional patterns can be transferred in via USB on the side of the machine.
In terms of sewing, however, the Brother SE600 features only 103 stitches and a maximum sewing speed of 710 spm. The Brother SE1900 has 240 stitches and a maximum sewing speed of 850 spm.
In terms of embroidery, the Brother SE600 has 80 included embroidery designs and 6 English fonts. In contrast, the SE1900 has 138 designs and 7 English fonts.
The hoop size on the Brother SE1900 is also 5″x7″ as opposed to a smaller 4″x4″ on the Brother SE600.
Read more in my Brother SE600 review!
Brother SE1900 Review – Conclusion
The Brother SE1900 sewing and embroidery machine is a tremendous all-purpose machine that will sew, quilt, and embroider. The machine is simple to use, has a large selection of built-in stitches and designs, and will grow with beginners and experienced sewists alike!