This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read disclosure for more information.
Typically sold at Walmart but also available from other retailers, the Brother SQ9285 sewing machine has emerged as one of the most full-featured Brother sewing machines you can purchase without trekking to a dealer.
This sewing machine has a ton of stitches, presser feet, and even its own monogramming font. In addition to its emphasis on quilting, the Brother SQ9285 offers users the ability to alter and mend garments, sew their own wardrobes, or indulge their crafty sides with DIY sewing projects.
Read on for my Brother SQ9285 sewing machine review and answers to common questions!
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|
If you decide to purchase a Brother SQ9285 sewing machine, here are all the parts and accessories that 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 almost everything you need to start 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 like to have a selection of already threaded bobbins, 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 the 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 need 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!
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 and 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 always found Brother’s 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 then 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 by hand.
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. A slider on the front of the sewing machine 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 and 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.
The built-in free arm is a standard feature on most Brother sewing machines.
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!)
Using the SQ9285 for Quilting
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 can use when creating your masterpieces.
This sewing machine also has a detachable, wide table that’s great for holding larger projects such as quilts.
The biggest limitation of the SQ9285 for quilting is the throat space. While piecing any size quilt top is a “piece” of cake, free-motion quilting big quilts is a no-go.
Is this an embroidery machine? What about a serger?
No, this is not an embroidery machine in the traditional sense. You cannot download designs to this sewing machine or do more than just monogram with the one included font. You can 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 can 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.
You Can Sew Most 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, or an industrial machine if you have aspirations of sewing heavy-duty items in bulk.
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 can 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.
- 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 a quilting guide
- Only one font is 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 it 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 a larger workspace/throat space.
Know Your Goals and Expectations
If you’re a beginner or novice sewer looking for a sewing machine, you’ll want to be honest with yourself regarding what you want in a sewing machine.
Are you looking to simply mend clothes and create basic craft projects? If so, will you need all the features of 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 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
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 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
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 a 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.
The CS6000i sewing machine comes with a protective hard case, which is something that the Brother SQ9285 doesn’t.
Read my full Brother CS6000i sewing machine review!
Brother SQ9285 vs. HC1850
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 come with a monogramming font.
Read more in my Brother HC1850 review!
The Brother SQ9285 sewing machine is quite possibly the most feature-rich sewing machine you’ll find at its price point. It sews, quilts, and does basic monogramming. Plus, it’s easy to use with its automated features and user-friendly instructions and interface, and I don’t hesitate to recommend it!