Brother SE1900 Embroidery Machine Review: What Can I Do With It?
Brother SE1900 embroidery machine is the manufacturer’s replacement/upgrade of the Brother SE1800.
The main differences are that the SE1900 has 56 more built-in stitches and a color LCD screen, while the SE1800 had more presser feet.
So if you had been considering the old model, drop the idea. Start looking - right here with this Brother SE1900 review - at the newer model instead.
If you’re in a hurry right now, you can click here to check the availability of the SE1900 at Amazon.
What Can I Do with this Machine?
The SE1900 is often advertised as an embroidery machine, but it’s really a combination machine that lets you do embroidery designs, lettering, and do regular sewing.
For embroidery, you get just one 5 by 7 hoop in the box, but you can also use these compatible hoops for both larger and smaller work.
- SA442 - 1 inch high by 2 ½ inches wide
- SA443 - 4 inches square
- SA445 - 12 inches high by 5 inches wide (embroidery area is 5 by 7)
Over 100 embroidery designs are built into the machine. There are several options for adding to that total. More on that below.
This is intended as a multi-national, combination machine as there are 7 English fonts, 3 Japanese fonts, and 1 Cyrillic font included. The manual itself is printed in English and Spanish.
For sewing, sewists often want to know if a machine can make buttonholes. The answer to that query, in this case, is yes!
In fact, the SE1900 can do buttonholes in 10 different automatically sized one-step styles.
The other main question you often see relates to how many presser feet you get with the machine. You get these 8 feet.
- Buttonhole Foot
- Overcasting Foot
- Monogramming Foot
- Zipper Foot
- Zigzag Foot
- Button Fitting Foot
- Embroidery Foot
- Blind Stitch Foot
Note: As of this writing, if you check the feet that are included with this machine at the Brother website, you’ll see a few more listed. I believe those extras are the ones that came with the SE1800, and Brother simply didn’t update their web page properly.
Brother says that the maximum recommended fabric thickness for the SE1900 is no more than 6 millimeters. If you need to work with thicker material, you’ll need a more robust machine. Check at Amazon.
What Are the Main Embroidery Features
Besides the 138 built-in embroidery designs (which include florals, seasonal patterns, kids’ designs, and more), you can add thousands more by importing them from your computer.
As is true of many modern machines, you can incorporate designs from iBroidery. You can also use software packages (that you have to purchase separately) and add designs loaded to a USB flash (aka thumb) drive.
You can use any software that can save files in .pes or .dst format. Brother offers several software options if that’s the route you want to take.
- PE-DESIGN 11 Embroidery and Sewing Digitizing Software
- PE-DESIGN 11 Upgrade
- PE-DESIGN PLUS2
- SABESLET4 BES 4 Dream Edition
- Initial Stitch
PE-DESIGN 11 is for both embroidery and sewing digitizing. If you already own (now discontinued) version 10 of this software, you can move up to version 11 using PE-DESIGN 11 Upgrade. (I assume this would cost less than buying the full-blown v11 package.)
PE-DESIGN PLUS2 simply gives you more designs to play with.
The final two packages in the list above are for embroidery lettering and monogramming.
Can I Change the Embroidery Designs?
You can edit designs by rotating them or flipping them to their mirror image. If you don’t like the original size, just make it bigger or smaller with the editing capabilities of the machine.
Do you like part of “design A” and a piece of “design B”? Combine them!
You can change the font sizes of the lettering as well. You don’t have to be satisfied with positioning the letters in a straight line. Move them around. Form an arc. Change the color of each one as you go along.
These are the built-in fonts for this unit.
- Calgary Medium
- Greek Block
- Block 01
- Brussels Demi Outline
- Los Angeles
- Serif 01
- Sicilia Light Italic
The possibilities for creating projects with them may not be endless, but they are nearly so.
How Many Sewing Stitches Come with it?
Your SE1900 comes with 240 built-in decorative sewing stitches. You can use them to personalize whatever project you’re working on.
Zip along at a maximum of 850 stitches per minute (SPM). You can adjust and control this speed as needed, slowing down for those trickier parts.
There’s a handy reference guide to the stitches available, so there’s no need to go digging through a huge user manual to find what you need.
You can even do sideways sewing and use the My Custom Stitch feature to design your custom stitches and save them to the built-in memory (128kb) of your machine!
There’s room within your machine for as many as 15 stitch patterns.
This machine has left and middle needle positions only. That probably won’t matter for the vast majority of users, but it’s something to be aware of just in case.
Specifications of the Brother SE1900 Combination Sewing and Embroidery Machine
On this unit itself, the feed dog has 7 points, the needle plate shows measurements, and there is a sensor for bobbin thread that warns you when the bobbin is almost empty.
The touchscreen LCD measures 3 inches wide by 1.6 inches high and has adjustable screen brightness so you can see it easily no matter what the ambient lighting of your room is like.
It also has a screensaver, which is mostly just for fun.
If that ambient lighting is rather dim, you can still sew using the built-in, bright LED light on the machine.
Brother gives you its “advanced” automatic needle threading system, a needle position key for controlling whether the needle finishes is the up or down position, and a quick-set bobbin for easy setup.
A start/stop button gets you going quickly and allows you to stop just as quickly. This is especially handy if you see something going wrong with the threads, or you don't want to use the foot pedal.
You get a knee lifter, in case you prefer that method of sewing.
You can adjust the presser foot pressure as well as level the presser foot for ease of use.
Weight and Dimension
As far as dimensions, the unit is about 13.4 inches wide by 23.2 inches deep by 11.5 inches high. (Those are rough measurements but very close to actual.)
The throat measures 4.1 inches high by 7.4 inches wide.
The entire unit weighs a hair over 22 pounds. You won’t want to move it around every day, but you should be able to lift it as needed. Note that there is no carrying case available for this machine.
If you need an extension table for those larger projects, you can get the SAWT4, which is the recommended table for the SE1900 in particular.
This machine is both UL and CSA listed, so you know it will be safe to use.
The warranty on this unit is a whopping 25 years (limited)! This warrants against defects in its manufacture.
Who Should Use the Brother SE1900?
The SE1900 doesn’t feel like a beginner machine, though if this is your first machine and you have a little help from someone more experienced or watch YouTube videos, you should still be able to work with it well enough.
At the other end of the spectrum, this is not an industrial-strength machine either. As hinted at above, you can’t, for example, stitch on industrial-grade materials.
This machine simply can’t handle them. You need a bigger, stronger machine for that task.
So, consider this a middle-of-the-road sewing and embroidery machine. It’s great for the vast majority of projects you’ll likely want to do unless you are concentrating on a very specific niche and need some feature this machine doesn’t have.
Here are the main pros and cons of this machine, as I see them.
USB port to access lots of good embroidery designs
Additional embroidery hoops available
Hat embroidery capabilities
Touch and color display
More built-in options to grow with you.
Speed adjustment controller
No carrying case
Only one embroidery hoop included
More built-in options than you’ll probably ever use
You’ll notice that the last item is the same in both lists. Obviously, it’s good to have lots of options so your machine doesn’t limit what you can do. You’ll probably use more and more of those options as you gain more experience and become more familiar with the machine.
On the other hand, are you really ever going to use 240 different sewing stitches? Of the 138 embroidery designs, how many of them are worth using?
I understand that Brother needs to try to appeal to a broad audience (remember the multi-lingual features?), but there comes the point at which the numbers get a little ridiculous.
Most users will probably want to look for their own designs, either in the software packages or elsewhere online. So is there really a need to build so many options into the machine? I wonder if it would save Brother any production costs to limit the amount.
This is a good, solid embroidery machine and a very capable sewing machine too.
You should have no qualms about picking one up for yourself or perhaps even gifting one to someone you know who has been checking it out but hasn’t “pulled the trigger” yet.
You can use this machine for a home business as long as your business uses fabrics that the machine can handle, and there are a ton of such businesses that you might be involved with.
I think the 25-year warranty says a lot about the quality of the Brother SE1900. Brother wouldn’t offer it if they thought it would only last a few years.
Read my article about the best combination machines for beginners and advanced sewists.