Brother SE1900 Review: A Sewing & Embroidery Machine Worth Having?

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So you’ve had your fun with the embroidery stitches on your computerized sewing machine. Now you want to try your hand with real machine embroidery. At the same time, you don’t want to give up the basic sewing functions of an all-purpose sewing machine.

The Brother SE1900 is a combination sewing and embroidery machine. Will it do the job?

About the Brother SE1900

brother se1900 reviews
  • Large maximum embroidery area
  • Loads of built-in fonts
  • Excellent embroidery design library
  • Great selection of sewing stitches
  • Easy design transfer
  • On-machine editing and customization options
  • Excellent high-end sewing features
  • Nifty design creation system
  • Only one size of hoop
  • Editing controls are not intuitive
  • Limited editing functions
  • Some users may find it loud

When it comes to home sewing and embroidery, Brother leads the charge of innovation. One of their specialties is surprisingly full-featured budget sewing machines. However, they also make higher end machines for home quilting and embroidery.

If you’ve been looking into machine embroidery, you’ve probably noticed a division. Some embroidery machines do both sewing and embroidery, while others do embroidery only. The Brother SE1900 is a combination sewing and embroidery machine. That’s what the “SE” in the model name means: “sewing and embroidery.” 

The Brother SE1900 comes with 138 built-in embroidery designs — not just decorative stitches — and a 5-inch by 7-inch embroidery hoop. It also has 240 built-in sewing stitches, 10 buttonhole designs, and 11 different monogram fonts, including Japanese and Cyrillic.

Of course, you’ve probably noticed the price tag. 

This isn’t the most expensive embroidery machine on the market. Not by a long shot. But neither is it a bargain basement all-purpose sewing machine with a few embroidery-flavoured extras. 

As far as embroidery machines go, the Brother SE1900 is mid-range and mid-function. You can do a lot with it, and for most users, it might be all the machine you need. That said, even a mid-range embroidery machine will be substantially more expensive than a mid-range sewing machine.

Is the Brother SE1900 worth its price tag? Short answer: we certainly think so. And we’ll explain exactly why in a bit.

Who is the Brother SE1900 For?


The Brother SE1900 Sewing and Embroidery Machine is for anyone with an interest in machine embroidery, who also wants a fully-functional sewing machine.

Can a Beginner Use the Brother SE1900?

Of course. Like most Brother sewing machines, the Brother SE1900 has a powerful but user-friendly interface. It wouldn’t be difficult to learn to sew on this machine. There’s a decent-sized colour touchscreen that puts stitch selection and alteration at your fingertips. 

The interface isn’t intuitive like the interface of a simple mechanical sewing machine. At the same time, it’s not overly complicated. The SE1900 also has some of the conveniences that you’d expect from a higher-end machine like this. 

However, someone just starting out with sewing may not want to lay down this kind of money if they’re not certain that they’ll use this machine often and for a long time.

What About a Machine Embroidery Learner?

brother se1900-front

Again, this is a powerful and user-friendly machine, whether you’re learning sewing or embroidery.

The maximum embroidery area is five inches by seven inches. This is larger than the embroidery area of many lower-end machines. The colour touchscreen makes it easy to visualize your design as you want it to appear. 

Also, the Brother SE1900 has decent onboard editing capabilities and easy USB design transfer so you can work with your own designs.

The controls do take a bit of getting used to. The glyphs and illustrations aren’t super-intuitive. And there’s definitely a limit to this machine’s editing capabilities. On the other hand, more powerful embroidery machines will cost you as much as ten times what you’ll pay for the SE1900. 

For what you get, the price is very reasonable. This is a machine that will stretch a beginning or intermediate embroidery enthusiast’s abilities and help them to grow in their craft. And you won’t outgrow it quickly.

Also, remember that this is a high-end sewing machine, too. If you decide machine embroidery isn’t for you, then at the end of the day you’ll still have a truly excellent tool for all-purpose sewing.

But Who is it Really For?

In our opinion, the type of sewist who would get the most satisfaction from the Brother SE1900 is an intermediate sewist with an interest in machine embroidery. 

This would be a great machine for an avid crafter. It’s powerful, versatile, and gets high marks from customers for performance. 

On top of that, it offers a variety of opportunities to create and expand on the stitch and design libraries, as well as to work with your own stitches and embroidery designs. You can also import designs from Brother’s, or from other designers. [2]

Advanced machine embroiderers or people starting an embroidery business, however, may feel this machine’s limitations fairly quickly.

What’s in the box? 

Accessories that come with the Brother SE1900, include:

  • 5-inch by 7-inch machine embroidery hoop
  • Knee lifter
  • Buttonhole foot
  • Overcasting foot
  • Monogramming foot
  • Zipper foot
  • Zigzag foot
  • Button fitting foot
  • Embroidery foot
  • Blind stitch foot
  • Specialty embroidery thread
  • Bobbin case
  • Grid sheet set

Technical Specifications

brother se1900 review - sewing embroidery machine accessories

So You Want to Buy an Embroidery Machine

If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and investing in an embroidery machine, what should you look for?

Here are a few key features.

Built-In Designs

The main difference between an embroidery machine and an embroidery-flavoured all-purpose sewing machine is designs. Most computerized sewing machines have embroidery stitches. However, lettering and large, multi-coloured pictures are the province of an embroidery machine. 

Look for an embroidery machine with a substantial library of embroidery designs that you can edit and even add to.

On-Machine Editing

You’re probably already used to editing stitch length and width. But a true embroidery machine will allow you to do more advanced types of editing, including:

  • Flipping an image up to 360 degrees
  • Shrinking or enlarging an image
  • Changing colours
  • Adding or subtracting design elements
  • Moving an image to a different place in the embroidery area

Professional-grade embroidery machines may even allow you to capture images with your phone camera, transfer them to your embroidery machine, add colours, textures, patterns, and more.


If you’ve gone to all the trouble of creating or customizing stitches, stitch sequences, or designs, wouldn’t you want to be able to save them for future use? Most embroidery machines will allow you to save your creations in the machine’s memory.

Design Transfer

After a certain point, you may start to feel limited by your machine’s library of built-in embroidery designs. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to purchase designs from other vendors, or even to create and use your own designs?

Many embroidery machines allow you to transfer designs from your computer to your sewing machine. Older models may use cards and a card reader, similar to a floppy disk. Newer machines will have USB connectivity, or may even be able to connect to your WiFi for easy transfer from your phone or computer.

Colour Touch Screen

There’s no doubt about it: a touch screen makes operation of any piece of equipment easier and more intuitive. Colour is especially important for an embroidery machine, as it allows you to easily envision your project and make adjustments as necessary.

Some machines have an intermediate touch screen, with push button controls. Others will have a full-functioning touch screen where you can make fine design adjustments with a stylus.


Machine embroidery hoops hold your fabric taut during stitching. Some embroidery machines come with one hoop, while others may come with a variety in different sizes.

What Makes the Brother SE1900 an Excellent S&E Machine


Like many Brother instruments, the Brother SE1900 comes feature-packed. Not only does it have some powerful embroidery features, but there are also a few surprises for quilters and general-purpose sewists as well.

Embroidery Features

brother se1900 lighting
The Brother SE1900 work area is very well lit by powerful LED lights.

Here are some of the special embroidery features that come with the Brother SE1900.

Design Library

The Brother SE1900 boasts a generous library of 138 built-in designs. It also has 11 built-in fonts, including European, Cyrillic, and Japanese. You can also edit and combine both the designs and the fonts.


First things, first. Brother’s proprietary MyCustomStitch provides a gentle introduction to creating your own stitches and designs. 

You can, of course, use embroidery designing software to create your design. But you can also create your designs with pencil and graph paper, then enter it into your machine using the touch screen and MyCustomStitch system.

The process is a bit fiddly. But if you don’t feel up to mastering a new software suite, it’s a quicker and easier way to create your own designs. [1]

USB Connectivity

se190 brother usb connectivity

Transferring designs from your computer to your Brother SE1900 is a snap with the built-in USB port.

Onboard Memory

No matter how you’ve created (or purchased) your designs, you’ll no doubt want to save them. The Brother SE1900 allows you to do that with stitches and stitch sequences, as well as designs.

Colour LCD Touch Screen

brother se1900 touch screen display

The Brother SE1900’s touch screen doesn’t allow you to make fine adjustments, but it does provide a decently accurate visualization of your design before you start to sew.

Fonts Editing

Many sewing machines that have monogram fonts will allow you to customize the size somewhat. The Brother SE1900 also allows you to:

  • Rotate letters
  • Create sequences
  • Move the letters from place to place
  • Sew different parts of a letter in different colours
  • Use different sizes and styles of lettering in a single sequence

Combined with the number of built-in alphabets, there’s a lot of potential for creativity, here.

Thread Sensors

The Brother SE1900 has sensors that will tell you when it’s time to stop and change threads. If you’re embroidering with multiple colours, this is invaluable.

se1900 free motion embroidery
Lower the feed dogs on your SE1900 and go free motion.

Sewing Features

se1900 bobbin
Changing the Brother SE1900 bobbin couldn’t be simpler.

There are also some higher end sewing features you won’t find on a lower priced machine. 

Automatic Thread Cutter

When most of us finish sewing a row, we cut the threads with the little blade on the side of the machine, or with a pair of snips. But the Brother SE1900 has push-button thread cutting, which is really convenient, especially when working with multiple embroidery threads.

Sideways Sewing

Sideways sewing is just what it sounds like. Instead of sewing only forward and backward, this machine can sew sideways, too. This is an essential embroidery function. But it also comes in handy when sewing in tight corners or around unusually shaped pieces. Check out how it works in this video.

Knee Lifter

A knee lifter allows you to raise your presser foot with your knee. This allows you to keep both hands on your work while raising and lowering the presser foot.

This is a feature most often found on high-end quilting machines. However, quite a few Brother embroidery machines have it as well. 

We like it for two reasons. First, it makes free-motion embroidery a lot easier. Also, it makes the SE1900 more attractive as a sewing machine for quilting. Which makes this machine not just good but great value for money.

brother se1900 automatic needle threader
The Brother SE1900’s automatic needle threader works great.

Alternatives to the Brother SE1900

Curious about what other types of embroidery machines are on the market? Here are a few others we think are worth your attention.

Brother SE600

brother se600

The Brother SE600 is an earlier sewing and embroidery combo. It doesn’t have as many built in font, stitch, or embroidery designs as the SE1900. It also has a much smaller four-inch by four-inch embroidery area. And there’s no knee lifter.

You can, however, do almost everything on this machine that you can do on the SE1900, including USB design transfer, editing, and storage. Most importantly, you can do it for literally half the price.

So if you like the sound of the Brother SE1900, but need a lower priced option, the SE600 might be a good choice.

Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850

janome MC9850

The Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850 will cost you a bit more than the Brother SE1900. However, for your money, you’ll get the same high-end sewing features plus a few extras in terms of embroidery. These include:

  • A generous six-inch by nine-inch embroidery field
  • Extended throat space for quilting
  • Thread auto tie-off
  • Enormous colour touch screen
  • Drag and drop positioning of designs and design elements

It’s a bit more versatile, a bit more powerful, and a bit easier to use. For the right user, it might be worth the extra investment.

Brother Innov-Is XJ1

Brother Stellaire Innov-ís XJ1

If money is no object — that is, if you have six months’ salary to spend on an embroidery machine — then the Brother Innov-Is XJ1 could make your crafting dreams come true.

Although this one is certainly out of my price range, I’m including it because everyone should see what a top-of-the-line embroidery machine can do.

With over 700 built-in embroidery designs and fonts, a 10.1-inch colour touchscreen, and an enormous 9.5-inch by 14-inch embroidery area, this is a machine for a professional, or at least an aspiring professional.

The jewel in the crown of this model, in my opinion, is the My Design Snap mobile app. This allows you to capture an image with your mobile’s camera and send it to your sewing machine. From there, you can translate the image into an embroidery design, add colours and textures, resize, and do fine adjustments using a handheld stylus.

Watch how it works here.

Again, this is an extremely expensive machine.(Also, it doesn’t do regular sewing.) But if you’re starting your own machine embroidery business, it could be a fantastic investment.

Final Thoughts

brother se1900 reviews

We love the Brother SE1900

It’s an excellent machine for intermediate sewists interested in machine embroidery. It may be a bit expensive for some users. However, for the features and quality that money buys, it’s a fair price. Also, unlike some jack-of-all-trades machines, the Brother SE1900 really does do it all — sewing, embroidery, and quilting — pretty well.

review brother se1900


  1. Brother Support | How do I design a stitch with MY CUSTOM STITCH function? |
  2. | Download Center |

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