Brother CE1125prw Review – Comparisons, Pros & Cons

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Brother debuted the Brother Project Runway series of sewing machines, one of the most popular options being the Brother CE1125prw. 

While the newer Brother CE1150 sewing machine is slowly replacing the Brother CE1125prw Project Runway Limited Edition sewing machine, I’m leaving this Brother CE1125prw review up for reference for users looking to purchase preowned. 

This review answers common questions, provides further explanations of features, and hopefully leaves you with an idea of how it differs from its newer version. 


Brother Refurbished 100 Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine, white

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Quick Overview of Features

Dimensions19.3" x 10.8" x 15.8"
Weight15 lbs
Stitches100 built-in stitches; 8 auto buttonhole stitches
Stitch length and width5 mm x 7 mm
Maximum sewing speed850 stitches per min (spm)
Presser feet7
Feed dogs7 points, will drop
UL/CSA listed voltage110V
Warranty25-year limited warranty

What comes in the sewing machine box?

Almost everything you need to start sewing immediately (except fabric and thread) comes with your sewing machine purchase.

Here’s what you’ll find in the box:

  • CE1125prw sewing machine unit, power cord, and foot controller
  • 7 presser feet
  • 3-piece needle set, 1 twin needle, and 1 ballpoint needle
  • 4 bobbins
  • Extra spool pin and 3 spool caps
  • Seam ripper
  • Cleaning brush
  • Screwdriver
  • Operation manual and quick start guide

If you’re going to be storing your sewing machine in a dusty environment or transporting it places, do note that the CE1125prw does not include a carrying case.

brother universal hard case

You can purchase a universal hard Brother case or sew a soft case of your choice.

bobbin huggers

Also, having extra bobbins can be helpful if you like to work with several colors of thread. (The Brother CE1125prw uses SA156, Class 15 bobbins.)

I’ve also written an entire post about what useful sewing supplies are in my sewing corner, so you can check that out to get an idea of any additional accessories you may need to purchase before getting started sewing. This list includes things like thread, sewing scissors, measuring tools, and marking tools.

More About the Brother CE1125prw Sewing Machine

7 Included Presser Feet

presser feet

The Brother CE1125prw sewing machine comes with 7 sewing machine accessory feet that are easily changed by releasing a lever on the back of the presser foot holder.

  • Zigzag foot:  your everyday presser foot you will use on most projects requiring a straight or zigzag stitch
  • Buttonhole foot: use in conjunction with one of the eight automatic one-step buttonhole stitches to sew perfectly sized buttonholes
  • Button fitting foot: sew on the buttonhole
  • Zipper foot: sew a zipper on
  • Overcasting foot: use with the overcasting stitch to finish fabric edges and can also create a seam at the same time
  • Blind stitch foot: create almost invisible hems on garments and more
  • Monogramming foot: use in conjunction with some of the decorative stitches

If you’re looking for additional sewing feet, you can purchase additional presser feet separately to use on this low-shank sewing machine.

100 Included Stitches

Brother Refurbished 100 Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine, white

This sewing machine features 100 stitches, which is an incredible amount for a sewing machine of this cost. 

You select the stitch number and adjust the length and width using an LCD display on the front of the sewing machine.

Some of the stitches you will find are:

  • Zigzag stitches
  • Straight stitches
  • Overcasting stitches
  • Blind hem stitches
  • Buttonhole stitches
  • Stretch stitches
  • Applique stitches
  • Satin stitches
  • Decorative stitches, including specific decorative quilting stitches and cross-stitches

One cool feature of the LCD display is that once you select a stitch, the sewing machine presents the letter of the presser foot that you’ll want to use.

Setting Up

Winding the Bobbin

Automatic bobbin winding is accomplished on the top of the sewing machine. The quick-start instructions and diagrams on the top of the machine will show you how to wind the bobbin easily. 

Once the bobbin is wound, cut the thread, drop it in its case on the base of the sewing machine, and pull the thread around as directed by more instructions on the base.

This top-drop, quick-set bobbin is much easier for beginners to learn than a front-load bobbin. With this top-drop bobbin, you will also not have to worry about how to learn to bring the bobbin thread up. The sewing machine automatically does this as soon as you begin sewing.

Another helpful thing about this machine is that the bobbin case cover is clear so you can monitor your remaining bobbin thread. That way, you won’t run out in the middle of a seam!

Threading the Needle

using brother auto needle threader

Needle threading is also accomplished easily using the quick-start instructions and reminders imprinted on the sewing machine. 

Once the thread is passed through all the thread guides, you can loop the thread and have a small lever thread the needle for you. 

This automatic needle threading apparatus is a little unreliable and taxing, in my opinion. It actually broke within the first two years on my sewing machine. So, unless you have vision limitations, I don’t think this is a solid reason to choose this sewing machine.

How do you start sewing with the CE1125prw sewing machine?

After setting up the sewing machine and turning the power on, control your speed with a foot pedal. 

Pressing down the foot pedal will start your stitches, and releasing the pressure will stop your stitching. If you want to do a reverse reinforcement stitch, you can switch to backward stitching by pressing the reverse button on the front of the sewing machine.

How do you make buttonholes with the CE1125prw sewing machine?

Buttonholes are created using the buttonhole foot. Buttons are sewn on with the button sewing foot. 

Included within the 100 stitches are 8 buttonhole types. The process of creating buttonholes is an automated one-step process. This is much easier and more beginner-friendly than a manual 4-step buttonhole sewing machine. 

Also, every buttonhole will be the exact same size; the buttonhole foot automatically sizes the button and creates the perfect hole size!

When sewing on the button, you’ll switch to the button sewing foot and quickly attach the button to your sewing project.

What is the purpose of a built-in free arm?

built-in free arm

Most Brother sewing machines have a built-in free arm, and the Brother CE1125prw is no exception. 

When the flat-bed attachment (which houses the accessories pouch) is removed, a small built-in free arm remains. 

Use this when sewing small tubular items such as pants legs, shirt sleeves, etc. Unless you’re making skinny jeans for a toddler or doll clothes, you can use this feature for most cylindrical garments.

Is there a light on the CE1125prw, and is it adequate?

Some Brother CE1125prw reviews will comment on the inadequacy of the LED light, but in my experience, the lighting is great. 

LED lighting in your project area helps you visualize small details and see dark threads on dark fabrics. 

If the light is inadequate, I recommend purchasing an auxiliary natural light to use in your sewing area. Just point it away from the very top of the machine to avoid a dreaded shadow.

Can you quilt with the CE1125prw sewing machine?

Yes, you can create beautiful quilts with the CE1125prw sewing machine as long as they’re not too large. However, it is not a dedicated quilting machine, and there are a few things it lacks that some of the more expensive Brother sewing and quilting machines have.

For instance, it does not come with several accessory presser feet that quilters might find useful: a spring-action quilting foot, 1/4″ quilting foot, or walking foot.   There are compatible presser feet that will work with this machine, though, so you can purchase them separately.

The feed dogs do drop with the slide of a button on the back of the sewing machine, giving the option for free-motion quilting.  

If you are quilting larger items, you may enjoy having a detachable, wide table. This feature (not found on the CE1125prw sewing machine) does come with many of the more feature-rich Brother sewing machines, such as the Brother CS6000i, Brother XR3774, or Brother XR9550prw sewing machine.

However, the CE1125prw’s 100 stitches include many decorative stitches specifically for quilting that you will not find on many other models.

Does the CE1125prw sewing machine do embroidery? Is the Brother CE1125prw a serger?

Brother Refurbished 100 Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine, white

No, the Brother CE1125prw sewing machine is not an embroidery machine. 

It does come with a monogramming foot that you can use along with the decorative stitches, but it does not come with its own alphanumeric font–unlike the Brother XR9550prw (read XR9550prw review) and the Brother HC1850 sewing machines (read Brother HC1850 review.)  It also does not have the option to transfer embroidery patterns from the computer to the sewing machine like the Brother SE600 (see: Brother SE600 review.)

If you want to practice free-motion embroidery, you can do that on this sewing machine, however. Watch a YouTube video or two on how to set up a Brother sewing machine for free-motion embroidery. It’s impressive!

And no, the CE1125prw sewing machine is not a serger either, as it cannot sew a seam, finish fabric edges, and trim excess fabric. 

However, this sewing machine does come with an overcasting stitch and overcasting presser foot. You can use this to finish fabric edges as well as sew seams at the same time as well. You’ll just have to trim your own fabric before beginning to sew.

Is the Brother CE1125prw a good sewing machine for a beginner?

This is a great beginner sewing machine for someone looking to start sewing easily and have room to grow. 

I wholeheartedly recommend reading the instruction manual from front to back before tackling any projects. Boring, I know, but I promise you, it will save you a lot of frustration if you set up the machine correctly and know what you’re doing! 

For instance, you’ll need to learn how to choose a needle size, how to adjust thread tension for each fabric, and even how to pick your thread type. This information can also be found in a sewing book geared towards beginners.

The automated features of this Brother CE1125prw Project Runway sewing machine decrease frustration with the setup. Furthermore, the ample stitch selection and included presser feet will allow you to complete various projects.   And, the LCD screen will display an error code (E1-E6) whenever the machine isn’t working. This will help the beginner sewist troubleshoot.

This sewing machine features a little more than some of the more basic models like the Brother XM2701 or Brother XR3774 sewing machines, so it is geared towards someone who thinks they’ll be doing more than just basic mending or alterations.

What happens if it stops working?

Here’s how to protect yourself if you should get a defective machine. 

First, if it’s within the return period with your retailer, return it there. 

You can use the Brother 1/2/25 year limited warranty if you’re outside the return window. The parts, labor, and accessories carry a 1-year warranty through Brother. The electronic components have a 2-year warranty. The chassis (or body of the sewing machine) is covered for 25 years.

You need to keep your original proof of purchase for the warranty to be valid.

Brother CE1125prw Sewing Machine Pros

  • Huge variety of stitch options for a very affordable price
  • Automated, beginner-friendly features
  • Reliable and versatile sewing machine

Brother CE1125prw Sewing Machine Cons

  • No automatic needle up or down features and no start/stop button to allow you to sew without the foot pedal. Many sewers looking for an uncomplicated sewing machine may find this as a pro. I like having this little extra digitization on my machine, though.
  • While still functional as a quilting machine, it does not come with several accessory feet or the wide table that some other sewing machines include.

Interested in a Project Runway sewing machine but want to check out the other options? Check out my post on the best Brother Project Runway sewing machines. I’ve also written a long post detailing the best Brother sewing machines if you want to learn more about some of Brother’s other machines.

Otherwise, here are two of the most popular machines to which the Brother CE1125prw is compared.

Brother CE1125prw vs CE1100prw

If you compare the Brother CE1100prw vs. CE1125prw sewing machine, you’ll find a few critical differences, although most features are the same. 

First, the Brother CE1100prw “Limited Edition” sewing machine has been discontinued by Brother, so you can’t buy it directly from a store. It has now been replaced with the newer Brother CE1125prw. 

The look of the sewing machine has changed from a white faceplate to a metallic gold one on the Brother CE1125prw. The CE1100prw also only had 5 automatic buttonhole stitches, whereas the CE1125prw now includes 8.

Brother CE1125prw vs CS6000i

Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i, 60 Built-in Stitches, 2.0

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The Brother CS6000i features 60 stitches, 9 presser feet, and 7 automatic one-step buttonholes compared to 100 stitches, 7 presser feet, and 8 automatic one-step buttonholes of the CE1125prw.

The Brother CS6000i includes the oversized, detached wide table not present in the CE1125prw and is also more computerized. 

Instead of relying on the foot pedal to control speed, the CS6000i makes that feature optional. You can control the speed with a sliding lever, start and stop the machine with a button, and adjust the needle up/down position with a button.

The CS6000i seems to run a little pricier when I’m writing this CE1125prw review, but keep an eye on prices if that’s a deciding factor for you.

Read my complete Brother CS6000i review


If you’re looking for a sewing machine with many stitch options for not a lot of money, the Brother CE1125prw sewing machine is a great find. Thanks to its automated features and easy setup, beginners can start sewing in no time.

Useful for basic sewing tasks such as mending or alterations to creating designer garments, the Brother CE1125prw computerized 100-stitch Project Runway sewing machine will surely impress sewers of all skill levels!

One Comment

  1. I have had 3 brother sewing machines. I am far from an expert quilter, but i can say so far 2 machines have locked up on me and the machine i have now is truly not helping me. I make purses, wallets quilts and many more projects. The brother machine i am using is the ce 1125 prw. It has locked up on me. I have changed needles each project and i have had the needles break on me while quilting and trying to make projects. Not only does that happen my machine starts making loud sounds like i am destroying it. I am so lost because i love quilting and making things it is my therapy. But lately to be honest it is causing me more stress worrying of i will be able to finish my work. I just can not afford a more advanced sewing machine and it is so depressing. I just want people to know if you are into making thicker projects like totes wallets and other projects you may have problems with this machine. Sorry i am not trying to deter anyone just being honest.

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