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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 embroidery or monogramming machine. While the 4″x4″ embroidery area is small for dedicated embroidery enthusiasts and the stitching speed’s a little slow, most Brother SE625 reviews sing praises to this 2-in-1 sewing and embroidery machine. I’ve had mine for several months now, and it’s been great at both sewing and embroidery.
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, answering common questions, and finally detailing the pros and cons.
Brief Brother SE625 Review of Features
|Embroidery Designs||80 built-in, 200 on CD|
|Built-in stitches||103 stitches|
|Maximum Sewing Speed||710 stitches per minute|
|USB Connection||Built-in USB port|
|Warranty||25-year limited warranty|
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 teach you how to choose the right stabilizers, software, threads, and more for the Brother SE625.
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.
While you can manually control sewing with the foot pedal, the Brother SE625 also allows you 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 cut the upper and bobbin threads automatically, this can be done manually with the touch of a button.
Touch LCD Display
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 stitch length or width and displaying a preview of what the final product is 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 using an aspect of the machine, 8 built-in tutorials can be accessed with the help key below the LCD screen.
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?
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 only to 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 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 needle’s eye, 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. For sewists with shaky hands or poor eyesight, though, it’s going to come in handy and is worth the time to figure out.
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?
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.
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 want 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 a deal!
Several of the Brother combination quilting and sewing machines include an oversized, detachable wide table (like the Brother XR9550prw, HC1850, and CS7000X 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.
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. If you’re new to embroidery, check out how to use an embroidery machine for an in-depth tutorial.
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.
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.
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, 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 if you want to embroider something larger. Check out: embroider ideas with a 4×4 hoop for some project inspiration!
Setting Up The Machine to Embroider
Embroidering or monogramming requires slightly more setup than basic sewing.
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 check 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 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 have to buy your own or purchase pre-made designs.
Examples of online embroidery shops include iBroidery (Brother’s official embroidery design store) and Etsy. Many free designs are also circulating; be careful you only load trusted designs onto your machine. (I’ve written an entire post 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 sometimes digitize them into embroidery files using Ink/Stitch. If you know vector graphics, this is a GREAT program. However, it isn’t very easy to learn and has minimal support available if you’re new to embroidery and graphic design.
For a budget, more beginner-friendly software, I recommend checking out Embrilliance Essentials or Sew What Pro as basic design editing software. They have good support and many beginner tutorials available because they are widely used software options.
If you’re looking to create your own designs, also known as digitizing, Hatch, Embird, and Embrilliance Stitch Artist are three of the best digitizing embroidery software options for home embroidery enthusiasts.
And lastly, SewArt is a good auto-digitizing embroidery program, which means it converts images into .pes embroidery files without much user input. Because it is not a manual digitizing program, the results may not be great, especially for complicated images! Also, don’t expect to run a commercial embroidery business with auto-digitizing. However, it’s about 1/10th the cost of manual digitizing software and is worth consideration for the home embroidery hobbyist.
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 simultaneously. You will have to do any trimming yourself.
If you want 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 cotton but not as excellent for knits. Learn more in my Brother side cutter foot tutorial!)
If you want 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 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 or an industrial embroidery machine, so don’t plan to use it every day on heavyweight fabrics.
Is the Brother SE625 sewing machine good for a beginner?
I highly recommend the Brother SE625 or Brother SE600, its almost identical twin for beginners wanting a combination sewing and embroidery machine. (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 comprehensive 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 want 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
- A great value combination sewing and embroidery machine
- Import designs through a USB stick or straight from your computer to this computerized embroidery machine
- Edit and preview right on the touchscreen.
- Automatic thread cutter and advanced needle threader are nice perks.
Brother SE625 Sewing and Embroidery Machine Cons
- A CD for the additional 200 designs? A USB would have been more helpful to those of us without CD drives!
- No included embroidery software, and the 4″x4″ embroidery area can be small for some projects. (I recommend the Brother SE1900 if you’re looking for a 5″x7″ hoop size.)
- Slower maximum speed makes stitching intricate designs take longer, and it’s not as good at handling heavyweight materials as a heavy-duty sewing machine.
Brother SE625 Review – Conclusion
Jam-packed with features, the Brother SE625 allows you to sew, quilt, and embroider at an affordable price. It’s fun and easy to use and is a great addition to a craft room!