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If you’re interested in the Brother SE1900 sewing and embroidery machine, my Brother SE1900 review will detail its features, compare it to similar machines, answer common questions, and provide pros & cons. You can leave feeling equipped to decide if the Brother SE1900 embroidery machine is right for your crafty needs! I upgraded to the Brother SE1900 from the Brother SE625 a few months ago, and so far I LOVE it.
The SE1900 is one of the most feature-rich Brother embroidery machines that you can purchase without having to locate a dealer. It’s an extremely versatile machine that has superior stitch quality both when sewing and embroidering. It also has stitches and features that you only usually find on higher-end sewing and embroidery machines.
In addition to the 240 built-in sewing stitches, there are 138 built-in embroidery designs to add to your projects. And if you’re wanting additional designs, the built-in USB side port allows transferring of any designs you create or find.
Read on to find out more in my Brother SE1900 review!
Quick Brother SE1900 Review of Features
First, let’s review some of the basic features of the Brother SE1900.
- 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 fine print of the warranty for specifics!)
What comes in the box with the Brother SE1900?
The following items are found in the box if you decide to invest in the Brother SE1900 embroidery 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 like 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. Turns out the Brother SE625 hoops are not compatible with the Brother SE1900, so I bought a set of extra 4 hoops off Amazon.
To get started embroidering immediately, you also will need to purchase several other items like stabilizer, colored thread, and more. Check out my detailed embroidery machine supplies post to decide what’s a must-have for your embroidery aspirations!
Helpful Sewing Features + More Details
As a sewing machine, the Brother SE1900 is packed to the brim with more features than almost all of the other commercially available Brother sewing machines.
Automatic Functions For Easier Use
These automatic features will make setting up and using the Brother SE1900 a breeze.
Advanced Needle Threader
With the advanced needle threader, no need to worry about threading the needle by hand. You’ll wind the thread around this contraption, pull a lever down on the side, and the threader pulls the thread through the eye of the needle. I historically have not been a fan of the Brother sewing machine needle threaders because they are delicate and a pain in the rear to use, but the Brother embroidery machine threaders are SO MUCH BETTER.
One thing I’m not in love with, though, is the presser foot has to be down for the needle threader to work accurately. Since you’re supposed to thread your machine with the presser foot up, you have to then put the presser foot down to use the needle threader and finally raise it up again to place your fabric or embroidery hoop underneath.
Automatic Reinforcement/Reverse Stitches
When selecting stitches on the Brother SE1900, you have the option to choose if you want it to sew automatic reverse or reinforcement stitches. This means you won’t have to worry about reverse sewing to lock your stitch before starting to sew. And once you press the reverse button at the end of stitching, it does its thing all on its own!
Automatic Thread Trimming
In addition to telling the machine if you want the automatic reverse stitches, you can also opt for automatic thread trimming at the end of your project. The first time I had my SE625 trim the threads automatically, it was the most exciting feeling ever! Unfortunately, the Brother SE1900 does not automatically cut jump threads.
Whereas most sewing machines have a dial where you have to manually adjust tension, the Brother SE1900 automatically adjusts tension for you. What this means 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 still a time-saving feature.
Quick-Set, Top-Drop Bobbin
Bobbin winding occurs on the top of the machine, and the bobbin is then 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. With embroidery designs involving multiple thread changes, every little perk like this saves time! 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 sewist 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 really cool tray stored inside the accessories compartment. This was arguably the most exciting and unexpected find when I opened up my machine for the first time!
- 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
- Embroidery foot: use when embroidering designs
The great thing about this sewing and embroidery machine is that you can purchase compatible presser feet separately. So no need to discount this machine if the presser foot you’re wanting is not included!
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 that has the stitches on it. This was an improvement over my SE625 where I always had to go to the manual or scroll through the screen to know which number I needed for the stitch I wanted. Here’s how these stitches are broken down:
- 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 which will show you what they all look like.
Have an idea for a stitch that’s 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. This side cutter is an additional presser foot you can purchase to allow your machine to act like a serger in a few ways. When used with this overcasting type of stitch, the Brother side cutter foot allows users to sew a seam, finish fabric edges, and trim 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 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 allows you to lift the presser foot using 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 ever having a machine that has a knee lifter with it, so it’s been an adjustment. I really 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.
What else is there?
First, a built-in free arm, created with the removal of the flat-bed attachment, allows you to sew cylindrical items such as pants legs or shirt cuffs. (This is a great embroidery machine for shirts, by the way!)
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. A speed slider is also 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 guys, the Brother SE1900 sews SIDEWAYS and BACKWARDS. How cool is that? I keep forgetting about this function and turning my fabric to the side by force of habit, but this is something that just 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) is 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 4423 heavy-duty machine, have only three options for needle position: left, right, and center. Because the Brother SE1900 is awesome, you actually 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 a very precise 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 really liking having it when it comes to making gross measurements of sewing projects.
How good is the Brother SE1900 for quilting?
The Brother SE1900 is a good machine for quilting as well! 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. Here’s the switch to drop the feed dogs.
The Brother SE1900 handles thick quilt layers up to 6mm well (within reason; it’s not a heavy-duty machine, of course!) If you want an additional extender table, you can purchase and add a compatible oversized table. I have an extender table with my Brother CS6000i sewing machine that I just pop on here when I want it!
The throat space is 7.4″ wide x 4.1″ high, which is larger than many of the Brother combination quilting and sewing machines. This will allow you to create larger projects with ease.
Embroidering with the Brother SE1900
With the included 5″x7″ hoop, this Brother SE1900 embroidery machine is perfect for a small home business or serious 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. Like embroidering onesies, for instance. I always try to use the smallest hoop I can for onesies so I don’t stretch those cute little bodysuits out.
Since the Brother SE1900 is a single-thread embroidery machine, you do have to change the thread yourself after each color. While threading is set up to be quick and simple, this will take more time than if you owned a multiple-needle embroidery machine. Don’t be overwhelmed by the seeming complexity of figuring out the order of thread change. The helpful touchscreen guides you in selecting the next thread color.
What are the embroidery designs included in the Brother SE1900?
So, are the built-in 138 embroidery designs anything you’ll actually use? Or will you have to make or find your own to import?
To see the full list, go ahead and download the Brother embroidery design guide. It’s a fairly 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 exact same designs featured on the Brother PE800 embroidery machine.
The 138 built-in designs are found 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 more details about specific fonts, start at the bottom of page 5.
There are 10 frame shapes with 14 border designs. Starting on 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’ll use the color LCD touchscreen on this computerized sewing and embroidery machine.
Selecting a Pattern
You can select a built-in pattern, a character pattern, or a frame pattern. If you’re wanting 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 together 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 then 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 the memory of your machine 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. It would be no fun to import a design that causes your SE1900 to malfunction!
Does the Brother SE1900 come with its own software?
Unfortunately, there’s no included digitizing software with the purchase of the Brother SE1900. If you want to create designs, you’ll have to purchase your own program. Software can be expensive, so you might come out cheaper purchasing premade designs from Etsy, iBroidery (Brother’s online store), or other reputable businesses when you want them. You can also find free designs, but be careful these 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 (or in-the-hoop) embroidery designs.
Another similar machine for your consideration, the Husqvarna Viking Jade 35 sewing and embroidery machine, actually includes a basic embroidery software with purchase. For a fairly comparable price to the Brother SE1900, you’ll also get a 9 1/2″ x 6″ design area and a larger sewing workspace. It might be a bit more complex to learn than the Brother SE1900, but this is another great machine to consider if the inclusion of software is a must-have for you!
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 that are larger than 5″x7,” you have to have embroidery software to split the big designs into smaller pieces. This isn’t something the machine will do for you.
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, no need for software!
What embroidery software do I use?
I have a Cricut Maker (super awesome die-cutting machine!) and like to design SVG files for it. Then, I digitize my SVG files for embroidery. I used to do both the design and digitizing in Inkscape and then the Ink/stitch embroidery extension. These are both FREE open-source software, but they are NOT easy to use for beginners who have no knowledge of vector graphics. I recommend checking them out if you’re graphics savvy, but you’ll likely find yourself pulling your hair out if you aren’t.
If you are a true beginner and don’t have a lot of starter capital (because I don’t know about you, but my pocketbook cried a little when I splurged on this machine), an affordable and quality embroidery software is Embrilliance. There are different levels of packages depending on what you want to create, so there’s no need to splurge on expensive software if you only want to do basic creations. They also offer a free trial so you can decide if it’s for you before you purchase.
Right now, I still use Inskcape for SVG files, but I also have a Brother PE Design software for creating the embroidery files. It’s expensive software, but worth it given how much embroidery I do these days!
Can the Brother SE1900 sew and embroider denim? What about canvas?
Yes, assuming you select the correct needle, thread, and stabilizer for your project, the Brother SE1900 will sew and embroider denim and canvas. In general, as long as your material is 6 mm thick or less, you should be able to sew and embroider it! (Read all about choosing the correct sewing machine needle if you need help differentiating.)
This is not a heavy-duty sewing machine, though, so I wouldn’t recommend using it many hours a day to sew thick fabrics. I have a Singer 4423 heavy-duty sewing machine that I use for hemming jeans, and it blows the SE1900 out of the water with its power! (Read my Singer 4423 review if you want to learn more about it.)
Is the Brother SE1900 combination sewing and embroidery machine easy to use?
Setting up the machine and threading are very easy following instructions in the manual and on the body of the machine. 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 difficult, though, is learning things like how to hoop fabric, how to pick embroidery stabilizers, and how to make your own designs.
I’ve made a YouTube video for how to thread the Brother SE1900 if you’re interested in learning more about the setup.
Is it good 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 or even need all the features at first, but this is a machine that will definitely grow with you.
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 less beginner user error. 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’re going to be fully into embroidery and sewing, you may benefit from choosing a less fully-featured combination machine like the Brother SE600 or Brother SE625. (Feel free to 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 1/3 of the price. Which is a lot less investment if you’re not 100% set on your new hobby! I started with the Brother SE625, and it was a great starter machine. I just got tired of splitting designs and wanted to embroider all the things, which is done much more easily on the Brother SE1900.
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 biggest 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 definite 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. (Read more about these machines below in the comparisons!)
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 having to change your thread after each color. Investing in a multi-needle embroidery machine or a commercial 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. Not such a hardship to find another reason to use my machine!
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. Make sure your stabilizer is always placed correctly on the back of the fabric too. And, take care that you’ve wound the bobbin correctly and threaded the needle the right way! Little things you may overlook like threading with the presser foot down, or instance, may cause big problems with your machine’s stitching.
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.
I did have a dent in the embroidery arm when my machine came in the mail. Brother was great about getting it replaced quickly.
As an aside, if you want to compare prices between retailers, I recommend checking into Sewing Machines Plus. Often, they will send a 10% off coupon if you sign up for emails. That goes a long way in decreasing the price!
Comparing the Brother SE1900
If you’re doing your due diligence before purchasing the Brother SE1900, you’re probably wanting to know how it differs from other Brother embroidery machines. I’ve put together some little blurbs to save you having to figure this out yourself. You can also check out my best Brother sewing and embroidery machines list to find out more.
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 going to cost much more than the PE800.
In terms of embroidery, both machines feature the exact 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 additional designs can be imported by plugging a jump-drive into the side of the machine.
Read my full Brother PE800 review!
Brother SE1900 vs SE600 or SE625
In comparing the Brother SE1900 vs SE600, you’ll notice the SE1900 is bigger and better. But, it runs 2-3 times the cost as well at the time I’m writing this Brother SE1900 review. So what makes the SE1900 worth more?
Both machines are sewing and embroidery combination machines and include the exact 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, the Brother SE600 features only 103 stitches and a maximum sewing speed of 710 spm. The Brother SE1900 has the 240 stitches and maximum sewing speed of 850 spm. The hoop size on the Brother SE1900 is also 5″x7″ as opposed to a smaller 4″x4″ on the Brother SE600.
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. Both will provide neat stitching though.
Read more in my Brother SE600 review!
Brother SE1900 Review – Conclusion
As you can see from this Brother SE1900 review, you’re looking at a great all-purpose machine that will sew, quilt, and embroider! While it’s no Brother Dream Machine Innov-is, you’re getting a lot of machine for a very affordable price.
The machine is simple to use, has a large selection of built-in stitches and designs, and will grow with both beginners and experienced sewists alike!