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Brother SE625 Review – Best Embroidery Machine For Beginners?

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The Brother SE625 sewing and embroidery machine will be a reliable, feature-rich addition to your craft room.  I love having it in mine!

A combination machine, the Brother SE625 functions as both a computerized sewing machine and an embroidery or monogramming machine.  For everyday sewing, you’ll have 7 presser feet and 103 stitches at your fingertips.  For embroidering, the 280 embroidery designs and built-in monogramming fonts will get you started designing fun new projects.  And if you need even more designs, simply upload purchased or created designs from your computer to the Brother SE625 using a USB stick.

While the 4″x4″ embroidery area might not please more dedicated embroidery enthusiasts and the stitching speed’s a little slow, Brother SE625 reviews sing praises to this 2-in-1 sewing and embroidery machine.  I’ve had mine for several months now, and I’m loving it so far.

If you’re wondering if the Brother SE625 is perfect for your sewing needs, this Brother SE625 review can help!  I’ll first start by giving you more information about its features, then answering common questions, and finally detailing pros and cons.

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Brief Brother SE625 Review of Features

FeatureSpecs
Embroidery Area4"x4"
Embroidery Designs80 built-in, 200 on CD
Built-in stitches103 stitches
Maximum Sewing Speed710 stitches per minute
USB ConnectionBuilt-in USB port
Warranty
25-year limited warranty

What accessories are included with the Brother SE625 computerized combination sewing and embroidery machine?

My Brother SE625 embroidery machine

Here’s what comes in the box with the Brother SE625 sewing and embroidery machine:

  • Brother SE625 machine unit, foot controller pedal, and power cord
  • Embroidery arm, 4″x4″ embroidery hoop, and embroidery foot
  • 7 sewing presser feet
  • Needles: 6-piece needle set (2 75/11 needles, 2 90/14 needles, and 2 90/14 ballpoint needles) and twin needle (2/11)
  • Other tools and supplies: 4 bobbins, 3 bobbin clips, 3 pre-wound bobbins with embroidery thread, scissors, disk-shaped screwdriver, cleaning brush, 4 spool caps, spool net, and darning plate
  • Dust cover
  • Bilingual operations manual, quick reference guide, and embroidery design guide

If you want to start embroidering immediately, you will want to consider purchasing extra essential supplies like stabilizer and thread.  I’ve written a whole separate post on must-have embroidery machine supplies to show you my favorite products and to teach you how to choose the right stabilizers, software, threads and more for the Brother SE625.

And guys, I made an unboxing video from when I opened my SE625 machine and FINALLY posted it on YouTube!  I make prettier sewing projects than I do videos, so don’t judge me too much on my video! It does walk you through what’s in there and what you will use it for, though.

Sewing Features Of The Brother SE625

The Brother SE625 computerized sewing and embroidery machine is not lacking in its sewing ability as you’ll soon see.

Computerized Controls

While you can manually control sewing with the foot pedal, the Brother SE625 also gives the option to sew using buttons on the front of the machine instead.  Three buttons (start/stop, needle up/down, and reverse) combined with an adjustable speed slider allow you to sew foot-free.

While you can program the machine to automatically cut the upper and bobbin threads, this can be done manually as well with the touch of a button.

Touch LCD Display

embroidering the towel

A 3.2″ colored LCD display on the front of the Brother SE625 adds considerable versatility to this embroidery machine.   This is where stitch selection or embroidery design selection happens.

When selecting your utility or decorative stitch, the machine allows for altering of stitch length or width as well as displaying a preview of what the final product going to look like.  The machine also suggests the best presser foot to use with the stitch to achieve optimal results.

If you need a quick reminder on how to use an aspect of the machine, there are 8 built-in tutorials that can be accessed with the help key below the LCD screen.

brother se625 tutorials onscreen

Settings such as default needle stop position, buzzer sounds, automatic thread cutting, and automatic reverse stitching can be altered by pressing the settings key.

7 Included Presser Feet

The following 7 presser feet cover your bases for most sewing projects.  With them, you’ll be able to sew zippers, buttons, decorative stitches, and invisible hems as well as overcast fabric edges.

  • Spring action zigzag foot
  • Buttonhole foot
  • Button sewing foot
  • Overcasting foot
  • Monogramming foot
  • Zipper foot
  • Blind stitch foot

What are the Brother SE625 built-in stitches?stitch options on the Brother SE625

There are 103 built-in stitches on the Brother SE625.  You can set the maximum length and width to 5 mm x 7 mm, if desired.  Here are the types of stitches included with the machine:

  • Straight stitches and zigzag stitches (with and a without reinforcement stitch)
  • Elastic zigzag stitches and a triple stretch stitch
  • Overcasting stitches
  • Piecing and decorative quilting stitches
  • Hem stitches and blind hem stitches
  • Blanket stitches
  • Buttonhole stitches
  • Darning stitches
  • Satin stitches and decorative satin stitches
  • Many other decorative stitches and cross-stitches

What size bobbin for the Brother SE625?  How is it wound?

The Brother SE625 embroidery machine uses plastic SA156, Class 15 bobbins, which are 7/16.”  It’s important to only use compatible bobbins.

Bobbin winding happens on the top of the sewing machine and is SO easy.  You’ll first place the bobbin on the bobbin winding shaft and slide it to the right.  You then need to set up the thread.  The manual and quick-start guide both contain instructions.  And as if that’s not enough, instructions are printed on the top of the machine and are available in one of the tutorials on the LCD screen.

Installing the bobbin is equally easy.  You’ll open the bobbin case and load it from the top, following the directions again located in FOUR different places.  Being a top-drop, quick-set bobbin, you don’t need to worry about drawing up the bobbin thread yourself.  Once you begin sewing, the machine does it for you!

How to Thread The Brother SE625

Just like winding the bobbin, threading is easy following the instructions located in the same four locations.  Make sure to thread with the presser foot up or you might mess with your upper thread tension.

When it comes time to pass the thread through the eye of the needle, you can use the automatic needle threader.  For something that’s supposed to save time, it’s not the easiest contraption to learn.  Brother SE625 reviews either heartily praise or passionately dislike this feature.  I’m on the fence.  For sewists with shaky hands or poor eyesight, it’s going to come in handy and is worth the time to figure out.  You might just end up preferring to thread the old-fashioned way and scrapping the needle threader like I have, though!

Making Buttonholes

With 8 buttonhole stitches, the Brother SE625 makes a variety of auto-sized buttonholes.  The process is accomplished automatically in one step and is very simple to learn. By placing the button in the back of the buttonhole presser foot, you’re guaranteed to have perfectly-sized buttonholes on every project!

What’s a built-in free arm good for?

brother se625 free arm

If you’re regularly sewing small, tubular objects like shirt sleeves or pants cuffs, you can wrap them around the free arm.  This way you don’t have to worry about accidentally sewing the two sides together!  While it sounds fancy, the built-in free arm comes standard on most Brother sewing machines and is accessed by removing the flat-bed accessories storage compartment.

LED Light

A reasonably bright LED light illuminates the stitching workspace to help you see those tiny stitches better!  It’s not spotlight-bright, but it’s going to work well in most circumstances.

What about using the Brother SE625 for quilting?

Even though the Brother SE625 is marketed as a 2-in-1 sewing and embroidery machine, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for quilting also!

It features an enlarged throat space (6.4″ x 4.1″) to accommodate bulkier projects and includes several piecing and quilting stitches.  The spring action zigzag foot, coupled with the longer 7-point feed dogs, provide smoother fabric feeding.  If you’re wanting a walking foot, spring action quilting foot, or 1/4″ piecing foot, you can purchase these separately.  The Brother SE625 sewing machine is compatible with additional presser feet.  I got a set of 32 on Amazon for less than $25.

Several of the Brother combination quilting and sewing machines include an oversized, detachable wide table (like the Brother XR9550prw, HC1850, and CS6000i sewing machines.)  While the Brother SE625 does not include this table, you can purchase a compatible wide table as an additional accessory.

Furthermore, the feed dogs drop at the touch of a button to allow for free-motion quilting.

how to drop feed dogs

And lastly, here are a few of the quilting and piecing stitches available on this machine.

Embroidery Features on the Brother SE625

Now that we’ve covered how you can sew with the Brother 625, let’s look at embroidering.

What designs can you embroider with the Brother SE625?

There are 80 built-in embroidery designs on the Brother SE625 sewing embroidery machine.  An additional 200 designs come on an included CD for a total of 280 designs.  I think it’s a little odd that Brother created this technologically-advanced sewing machine and then provides a CD with designs.  Many computers these days have done away with CD drives!

There are also 6 built-in English embroidery fonts.  You can make capital or lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.  Each font comes in small, medium, or large sizes.  Here are the 6 English fonts below.  The size large fonts are around 3-4 cm tall (depending on the letter), and you can fit about 3 of them in the 4″x4″ hoop.  So if you want to do more than monogram, you will have to rehoop.

English fonts on the Brother SE625 and BRother SE600

Take a look at all the 80 included designs in the embroidery design guide or watch this quick video for more information:

If you’re not in love with the 280 embroidery designs that come with the Brother SE625, you can import more designs using the built-in USB port.  No need to plug the machine into your computer to transfer the files, which is a nice improvement over the Brother SE400!  Here’s what the side USB port looks like.

USB port on the side of both the Brother SE625 and Brother SE600

Embroidery Area and Hoop Size

The maximum embroidery area is 4″x4,” and one 4″x4″ hoop is included with the purchase.  (The hoop itself is larger than this, obviously, but I’ll still call it a 4″x4″ hoop because that’s the usable area of it.) This is an adequate size for monogramming and doing most small t-shirt embroidery designs.  You may run into issues is you’re wanting to embroider something larger like the front of a pillowcase, for instance.  I embroidered a blanket recently and had no problems splitting the design with my embroidery software.

Setting Up The Machine to Embroider

Embroidering or monogramming requires slightly more setup than basic sewing.

putting on the embroidery arm of the Brother SE625

To set up, you must attach the embroidery foot and embroidery unit to the Brother SE625 unit.  The prepared fabric (with stabilizer) then goes into the embroidery hoop, which attaches to the embroidery unit.  Picking the correct needle size and thread type is important, so make sure to read your manual for suggestions!  You can also check out my sewing machine needle chart to grab a printable to keep with you!)

How to Select and Alter Embroidery Patterns

Use the LCD screen and associated buttons to choose a pattern.  You can choose from the 80 built-in patterns or import your own from your computer (or the included 200-pattern CD) on a USB drive.

Once you’ve selected the pattern, you can adjust the pattern in the pattern editing frame.  With the touch of your finger, you can move the pattern around the area, change its size, and even change thread colors.  These adjustments show up on the color LCD screen so you know what your changes look like.  If you’re planning to monogram or use letters, you can type in your letters and edit them as well.  One fun aspect of the Brother SE625 is that letters can be placed on an arc!

Once you’ve finalized your pattern, make sure to preview it in your area.  Double-checking prevents you from having to painstakingly remove all those tiny, incorrect stitches later on.

If you’ve chosen a multicolored design, note that the Brother SE625 only sews one thread color at a time.  After the first thread color is sewn, the machine will alert you of the next color to set up.  You will need to rethread the machine with the new color, so some of the automated features like needle threading are helpful!

What is the Brother SE625 file format?

The Brother SE625 is only compatible with .pes, .phc, and .dst embroidery data files.  The preferred, and default for saving, file format is .pes.  Other formats may cause your machine to malfunction.  So be cautious about loading files from unknown sources.

For decorative stitches, .pmx, .pmv, and .pmu stitches data files can be used.  Only .pmu or .pmx stitch data files are retrievable.  The preferred stitch format, and the default for saving, on the Brother SE625 is .pmv.

Does the Brother SE625 come with software?

Unfortunately, there is no included software with the Brother SE625 sewing and embroidery machine.  You will have to buy your own or purchase premade designs.  Examples of online embroidery shops include iBroidery (Brother’s embroidery pattern store), Etsy, and embroiderydesigns.com.  Many free patterns are also circulating; just be careful you only load trusted designs onto your machine!  (I’ve written an entire post of where I like to download free machine embroidery patterns if you want to check that out!  And here’s another post listing websites with free or paid in-the-hoop designs.)

If you’re looking to get software, Inkscape with the Ink/Stitch embroidery extension is the best free embroidery software I’ve found.  Because I have a Cricut Maker, I like to create SVG files in Inkscape and then digitize them into embroidery files using Ink/Stitch.  If you have knowledge of vector graphics, this is a GREAT program.  However, if you’re new to embroidery and graphic design, it’s fairly complicated to learn and has minimal support available.

For a budget, more beginner-friendly software, I recommend checking out Embrilliance Essentials.  It has good support and many beginner tutorials available because it is widely used.  There are also different “packages” you can purchase to add features to the base software if you start finding more and more embroidery projects you need to create designs for!

Can you use the Brother SE625 as a serger?

Even though the Brother SE625 can sew, quilt, and embroider, it does not also function as a traditional serger.

If using the built-in overcasting stitch and overcasting presser foot, the machine does create a seam and finish fabric edges at the same time.  You will have to do any trimming yourself.

If you’re wanting to trim fabric edges while sewing, consider investing in an auxiliary Brother side cutter presser foot.  The side cutter cuts excess fabric while simultaneously finishing the fabric edges.  (Honestly, I’m in “like,” not “love,” with my own side cutter presser foot attachment.  It’s PERFECT for cottons but not as excellent for knits.  Learn more in my Brother side cutter foot tutorial!)

If you’re wanting this sewing machine to sew as quickly, accurately, or produce as professional of seams as a serger, don’t expect the Brother SE625 to do that.  Invest in a quality serger instead of purchasing the side cutter foot.

Can the Brother SE625 sew denim? What about hats?

Yes, the Brother SE625 sewing and embroidery machine handles reasonably thick materials such as denim jeans and canvas with ease.  It also will embroider hats (with a little finagling–check out YouTube), towels, and other heavier fabrics.  However, it is not a heavy-duty sewing machine nor an industrial embroidery machine, so don’t plan to use it all day, every day on heavyweight fabrics.

Is the Brother SE625 sewing machine good for a beginner?

For beginners wanting a combination sewing and embroidery machine, I highly recommend the Brother SE625 or Brother SE600, its almost identical twin. (Read my full Brother SE600 review if interested, or check out my Brother SE625 vs SE600 comparison post!)

With an easy to navigate display and very thorough instructions, beginners can set up the machine with little frustration.  The automatic features such as bobbin winding and needle threading are beginner-friendly, and the top-drop, quick-set bobbin eliminates the need to draw the bobbin thread up yourself.

With troubleshooting error codes and compatible presser foot suggestions, the Brother SE625 helps beginners who are wanting to venture into sewing, quilting, and embroidery.

With its increased versatility and functionality, it’s not going to be as easy to learn as, say, a basic sewing machine.  But, by reading the instructions manual and watching a few YouTube tutorials, you’ll be sewing well in no time.  Just give yourself grace at first; we’ve all been beginners and sewn some pretty rough projects at first!  The seam ripper was my closest companion in my first few months of learning to sew.

And if you’ve been reading this Brother SE625 review and decided maybe this machine is a little too much for your needs, I’d recommend reading more on the Brother HC1850 or Brother XR9550prw sewing machines.   These are both combination sewing and quilting machines that come with one built-in monogramming font.

My SE625 Review of Pros

Brother SE625 Sewing and Embroidery Machine Cons

Brother SE625 Review – Conclusion

As you can see from this Brother SE625 review, you’re getting a lot of machine at an affordable price.  Jam-packed with features, the Brother SE625 allows you sew, quilt, and embroider, all within one machine.

The technologically-advanced LCD display and the number of stitches and designs make this machine more than capable of meeting your sewing needs.  Overall, I think it will be a great addition to any sewist’s craft room.  So far I’ve enjoyed using mine!

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Brother SE625 Sewing and embroidery machine review

Brother SE625 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine

4.45

Beginner Friendly

4.5/5

Bang for Your Buck

4.7/5

Embroidery Capabilities

4.2/5

Pros

  • Combination sewing and embroidery machine
  • Tons of designs and stitch options
  • USB transfer of designs

Cons

  • Not a heavy duty machine
  • CD instead of USB holding additional designs
  • Not as feature-rich as more expensive brands

6 Comments

  1. Do you have to use the foot pedal for any operations on this machine (bobbin, threader, start sewing, etc)? I’m paralyzed and need a machine that is operated completely by hand without a foot pedal.

    1. After over a year of use, I’ve never even unwrapped the foot pedal from its original plastic! I sew completely foot-free for everything!

    1. Sure! Here’s the set I bought right here: https://amzn.to/2LOZSBW There are several other options on Amazon, too, if you’re looking for more or less presser feet. When I bought this set, all of the feet worked pretty well with my machine except the fringe foot, which I had to take a file to to get it to work properly. I thought 31 out of 32 wasn’t too bad, though, for the price!

  2. Thank you so much for this helpful article! I am completely new to embroidery and barely know anything about sewing. I just got my SE625 in the mail the other day and was feeling so overwhelmed, but this article made me feel much better and ready to take it on today!!

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