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The Brother SQ9285 sewing machine is a feature-rich sewing machine that will impress beginner and more experienced sewists alike.
This computerized sewing machine has a ton of stitches, presser feet, and even its own monogramming font. All for under $200 (at least at the time of writing this Brother SQ9285 review!)
Set apart from other Brother sewing machines because it’s specially designed with quilting in mind, this Brother SQ9285 150-stitch computerized sewing and quilting machine will help you sew beautiful quilts with precision and quality. You’ll also be able to alter and mend garments, sew your own wardrobe, or indulge your crafty side with DIY sewing projects.
So, read on for my in-depth Brother SQ9285 sewing machine review to see if this machine will be a good fit for your sewing needs.
Brother SQ9285 Review of Features
|Dimensions||12.1" x 7.6" x 16.5"|
|Stitches||150 built-in stitches (8 are one-step buttonhole styles)|
|Monogramming||55 alphanumeric stitches|
|Maximum Sewing Speed:||710 stitches per min (spm)|
|Stitch Length and Width||5 mm x 7 mm (0.19 x 0.27 inches)|
|UL/CSA Listed Voltage||110V|
|Warranty||25 year limited warranty|
What comes in the Brother SQ9285 Sewing Machine Box?
If you decide to purchase a Brother SQ9285 sewing machine, here are all the parts and accessories that will come with it:
- Sewing machine unit, power cord, and optional foot controller
- 10 sewing machine feet
- Accessory pouch including: 4 bobbins, needle set, ballpoint needle and twin needle, 3 spool caps, extra spool pin, cleaning brush, seam ripper, eyelet punch, and screwdriver
- Detachable wide table
- Bilingual operations manual, DVD, and quick-start guide
This is most everything you need to get started sewing except thread and fabric. Other items you may want to consider purchasing, though, are a protective case and extra bobbins. A case will protect your sewing machine from dust or while in transit with you. And, I personally like to have a selection of bobbins that are already threaded, so I need more than the included 3 bobbins. For reference, the Brother SQ9285 uses Class 15, SA156 bobbins.
I’ve also recently written a post about beginner sewing supplies, so you can check that out if you’re just starting to collect sewing accessories.
How many presser feet are there, and what can you do with them?
This sewing machine comes with 10 presser feet, which is more than most other Brother sewing machines. Here’s a list of the sewing feet:
- Zigzag foot: This is your everyday presser foot you’ll use for creating straight and zigzag stitches.
- Buttonhole foot: This foot will help you sew automatic buttonholes using the buttonhole stitch (up to 28 mm holes).
- Button sewing foot: Helps you sew buttons onto garments or other projects.
- Overcasting foot: Allows you to sew a seam and finish raw edges of fabric at one time
- Zipper foot: Insert a zipper with this narrow foot.
- Walking foot: Feed bulky layers at an even rate with this foot.
- Spring action quilting foot: Allows you to do free-motion quilting
- 1/4″ piecing foot: Sew precise 1/4″ seams, which are standard when piecing quilts.
- Blind stitch foot: Sew a practically invisible blind hem.
- Monogramming foot: Use this foot with the alphanumeric font or decorative stitches.
Each foot has a letter inscribed on it. When you select a stitch on your SQ9285 sewing machine, the LCD screen displays the letter of the presser foot you should use. This is very handy as a beginner if you don’t want to have to refer back to your manual frequently!
And if for some reason you’re needing more presser feet to expand your sewing options further, you can purchase additional Brother presser feet that are compatible with this low-shank sewing machine.
What can you sew with the 150 stitches?!
This sewing machine features 150 stitches plus one built-in monogramming font! You’ll be able to complete almost all projects with this vast selection of decorative and utility stitches. Here’s how many stitches of each type there are:
- 3 straight stitches
- 1 zigzag stitch and 1 three-point zigzag stitch
- 1 stretch stitch and 1 triple stretch stitch
- 6 overcasting stitches
- 2 blind hem stitches
- 8 buttonhole stitches
- 5 stitches specifically for quilting
- 1 each of scalloping, applique, shell tuck, satin scallop, smocking, bar tack, and elastic-attaching stitches
- 3 joining stitches
- 2 piecing stitches
- 2 fagoting stitches
- 9 cross-stitches
- 42 decorative stitches and 8 decorative satin stitches
- 50 satin stitches
- One monogramming font including 55 alphanumeric stitches with some symbols
The stitch selection, as well as the length and width of the stitch, are selected with the four buttons next to the LCD screen on the front of the sewing machine.
How do you set up the Brother SQ9285?
Setting up your Brother SQ9285 sewing machine is SO easy following the quick start guide. I’ve found the instructions to be very clear and easy to follow. If you’re a beginner, don’t worry. This sewing machine is simple to learn to use if you follow the instructions.
Winding and Setting the Bobbin
The bobbin is wound automatically on the top of the sewing machine. “Cheater” instructions on the top of the sewing machine will remind you how to put the bobbin on the pin and set up the thread. Once everything’s ready to go, you’ll use the foot pedal or start button on the front of the machine to start winding. Once the bobbin is wound, the sewing machine will shut off on its own.
The Brother SQ9285 sewing machine features a top-drop, quick-set bobbin. You’ll remove the clear top at the base of the sewing machine and then drop the bobbin in. You’ll have to draw the thread around as shown in a sticker diagram next to the needle plate.
What quick-set means is that there’s no need to draw the lower bobbin thread up by yourself. This is something the needle will do automatically when you start sewing. I started sewing years ago on a front-load bobbin sewing machine where I had to draw the thread up by hand myself. Thus, I definitely appreciate this easy Brother bobbin setup!
Threading the Upper Thread
A small diagram and numbers on the top and front of the sewing machine will remind you of the route you’ll need to pass the thread from the spool. Once the thread arrives at the needle, you can thread it the old-fashioned way. You also have the option of using the needle threader lever to have the sewing machine thread the needle for you. This is great if you have shaky hands or poor near vision.
My own experience with my Brother automatic needle threader hasn’t been excellent. At first, it was difficult to figure out how to work it. Then, a little over a year after purchasing my sewing machine, it actually broke when I was fiddling with it. This part is somewhat cheaply made, but this is a VERY affordable sewing machine compared to other brand sewing machines with comparable features! Just keep this in mind when ultimately deciding which sewing machine will be the best fit for you.
Starting to Sew
After plugging in the machine and powering it on, you can begin sewing using the optional foot controller or the buttons on the front of the sewing machine.
These buttons (start/stop, reverse, and needle up/down) will allow you to control your sewing without the foot pedal. There’s also a slider on the front of the sewing machine that will allow you to set your maximum speed.
I do wholeheartedly recommend reading the entire instruction manual (boring, I know!) and/or watching the included DVD before getting too far into sewing. If you’re a beginner, you’ll save yourself a lot of time if you learn the ins and outs of your sewing machine. Prevent beginner mistakes rather than spending time frustratingly fixing errors. (I dove right in the first time I started sewing, and I was SO frustrated things weren’t going just swimmingly. Turns out I was making several big mistakes!)
The manual will teach you how to set tension using the dial on the top of the machine as well as select the appropriate sewing machine needle and thread for your fabric. You’ll also learn how to make buttonholes and use the stitches and monogramming font on your Brother SQ9285.
A standard feature on most of the Brother sewing machines is the built-in free arm. When the flatbed attachment that holds the accessories compartment on the front of the sewing machine is removed, you have what is called the free arm. This allows you to place cylindrical projects such as shirt sleeves or pants legs around the free arm to facilitate sewing. Most adult or larger-sized child clothes will fit around the free arm. It’s not going to be small enough for doll jeans or the like, though.
For those of you who need a little extra light when sewing, the Brother SQ9285 sewing machine also comes with an LED light that will illuminate the sewing space when the machine’s turned on. Some Brother SQ9285 reviews may complain about the light brightness, but I’ve found no issues with it. If you need extra light, you can purchase an auxiliary lamp to use. (These are great to have around if you like to cross-stitch or crochet as well!)
What are the pros of this sewing machine for quilting?
As I mentioned at the beginning of this Brother SQ9285 sewing machine review, it really does seem to be designed with the quilter in mind.
Included are an astounding 10 presser feet, 3 of which are specific to quilting: the walking foot, spring action quilting foot, and 1/4″ piecing foot. Additionally, a quilting guide is included among the accessories. The feed dogs drop as well, so you do not need to worry about covering them with a darning plate when doing free-motion quilting.
Furthermore, there is a selection of quilting stitches that you’ll be able to use when creating your masterpieces.
This sewing machine also comes with a detachable, wide table that’s great for holding larger projects such as quilts. Just keep in mind that the throat space of the SQ9285 sewing machine’s not going to be large enough for most bulky king-size quilts.
Is this an embroidery machine? What about a serger?
No, this is not an embroidery machine in the traditional sense. You are not able to download designs to this sewing machine or do more than just monogram with the one included font. You are able to practice free-motion embroidery though if you’d like!
If you are looking for an embroidery machine, I’d recommend the Brother SE600 sewing and embroidery combination machine (read: my full Brother SE600 review!)
Also, no this sewing machine does not function as a serger, which is able to sew a seam allowance, finish raw edges, and trim excess fabric all at once. However, if you trim your own fabric, you can still sew a seam and finish raw edges at once with the overcasting stitch, which is used with the included overcasting foot.
Can you sew thick materials?
Yes, most materials such as leather and denim are fair game with the Brother SQ9285 sewing machine. Make sure to pick the correct needle and thread to match your fabric, though. Slowing down the speed of the sewing machine will also decrease the likelihood of breaking a needle.
If you’re going to routinely be sewing thick materials, though, you will be better served with a heavy-duty sewing machine, which is designed specifically for these materials.
When you see the Brother 25-year limited warranty that comes with Brother sewing machines, you may want to jump for joy. Just realize this is a little better than it sounds. The sewing machine body (or chassis) is warrantied for 25 years. The parts and accessories only include a one year warranty (this does get you out of the “lemon period” luckily). The electronic components carry a two-year warranty. As I said, when my poor automatic needle threader bit the dust, I was out of warranty since it was over a year.
You do have the ability to take advantage of your retailer’s return policy when you first purchase your sewing machine if something goes wrong early on. Also, Walmart will offer you the option of purchasing a more comprehensive warranty plan for up to 3 years if you prefer to have a little extra protection.
Brother SQ9285 Pros
- So many stitches and presser feet as well as a monogramming font for a great price
- Automated features such as needle threading and bobbin winding
- The foot pedal is optional
- Included extender table for larger projects
- So many great quilting features such as presser feet, stitches, and quilting guide
Brother SQ9285 Cons
- Only one font included for monogramming, so you are fairly limited in options if your goal is to monogram
- Needle threader can be finicky
- Not a heavy-duty sewing machine so will not sew thick fabrics as well
- While great for quilting smaller projects, this is a sewing and quilting machine rather than a dedicated quilting machine with the larger workspace/throat space.
What are your goals with your new sewing machine?
If you’re a beginner or novice sewer looking for a sewing machine, you’ll want to be honest with yourself when it comes to what you want in a sewing machine.
Are you looking to simply mend clothes and create basic craft projects? If so, are you really going to need all the features that come with this Brother SQ9285 sewing machine?
You may be better served by a sewing machine that still has beginner-friendly automated features but fewer stitch options or presser feet. The Brother HC1850, CE1125prw, and CS6000i sewing machines are three other computerized sewing machines that offer fewer features but are still very versatile.
If you’re second-guessing purchasing a computerized sewing machine, I’d recommend reading my reviews of the Brother XR3374 and XM2701 sewing machines. They’re very affordable Brother sewing machines that will help you accomplish all basic sewing tasks.
How The SQ9285 Sewing Machine Compares
Here’s a brief table of how the Brother SQ9285 150-stitch quilting and sewing machine compares to some of the other Brother computerized sewing machines. Hopefully, this will help you choose the sewing machine with the right features for you. I’d also recommend checking out my list of best Brother sewing machines as well if you’re still on the fence about your choice.
Brother SQ9185 vs SQ9285
In comparing the Brother SQ9185 vs SQ9285, you’ll find a few key differences. Most features such as threading and sewing are the same, and both computerized machines have identical automated features. They both have 8 buttonhole styles, 10 presser feet, and the one monogramming font. However, you will find only 110 stitches on the SQ9185 sewing machine. It also has a different faceplate.
The Brother SQ9185 sewing machine is also not being produced anymore, so you are more likely to find a refurbished SQ9185 rather than a new one.
Brother SQ9285 vs CS6000i
Comparing the Brother SQ9285 vs Brother CS6000i, you’ll find both computerized sewing machines have the same automated features such as bobbin winding and needle threading. They both also have a built-in free arm and detachable wide table.
The main difference is the CS6000i sewing machine only has 60 stitches, 9 presser feet (no 1/4″ quilting foot), and 7 buttonhole styles compared to the 150 stitches, 10 presser feet, and 8 buttonhole styles of the Brother SQ9285. The CS6000i also does not have a monogramming font.
This is my primary sewing machine, and I’ve been very happy with it so far! The CS6000i sewing machine comes with a protective hard case, which is something that the Brother SQ9285 doesn’t. The CS6000i also comes in at a less expensive price point. If you’re not going to use all the extras of the SQ9285, I’d definitely recommend the CS6000i.
Brother SQ9285 vs HC1850
Comparing the Brother SQ9285 vs Brother HC1850, you’ll find very similar sewing machines. Both computerized sewing machines have identical automated features such as needle threading and bobbin winding. They also both have a built-in free arm and come with a detachable wide table.
While the SQ9285 sewing machine has 150 stitches, 10 presser feet, and 8 buttonhole styles, the HC1850 only has 130 stitches, 8 presser feet (no 1/4″ quilting foot or walking foot), and 8 buttonhole styles. Both sewing machines do come with a monogramming font.
The HC1850 costs a little less than the Brother SQ9285 sewing machine as well at the time I’m writing this Brother SQ9285 review.
Brother SQ9285 Review Conclusion
As you can see from this Brother SQ9285 sewing machine review, this sewing machine is quite possibly the most feature-rich sewing machine you’ll find for under $200.
It sews, it quilts, and it does basic monogramming. And, it is easy to use with its automated features and user-friendly instructions and interface.
If you think you’ll use everything this sewing machine has to offer, I don’t think you can go wrong with the Brother SQ9285 sewing machine.