About Kamala

Kamala KellyI’ve always loved all the textile arts and crafts. I started sewing doll clothes when I was 6 years old and soon moved on to making my own clothes. I loved being able to create my own fashion designs and wearing unique outfits that I couldn’t find in stores. We didn’t have much money, and sewing my own clothes saved quite a lot and allowed me to have many special outfits that we couldn’t have afforded otherwise. I even made my own wedding dress and all of the bridesmaids’ dresses. This was before home embroidery machines, and I sewed all the silk embroidery on as appliques. That was a crazy summer, but the dresses were gorgeous.

When I wanted to try machine embroidery, I had a hard time finding the information I needed to choose which embroidery machine to start with. There was a lot of information available online, but it was confusing and contradictory. I went to my closest dealer — a 40 minute drive — but all they had were large machines costing thousands of dollars — way out of my budget. I wanted an easy-to-use, beginner’s machine, not too expensive in case I didn’t get that into it, but powerful enough that I wouldn’t outgrow it too soon. A USB port for importing designs is essential for me. I finally decided on the Brother SE400 which I love. I wish it had a bigger hoop size, but I didn’t want to pay the difference in price. Also I only have a small space and my 40-year-old Elna sewing machine — which I still love — lacks a lot of modern features, so having a new combination sewing and embroidery machine was appealing.

I also love to write and started this website to share all that I’ve discovered about the Brother SE400. I hope that the results of all my hard research will help you find the information you need faster and easier. And that you find many happy hours of creativity with whatever embroidery machine you decide is best for you.

Kamala Signature

Find out more about Kamala on her Google+ page.

Our Readers Respond ...

  1. Rosemary dukowski says

    My granddaughter and I run an etsy shop making dog accessories (bandanas,bow ties,etc. ). It’s called Penny’s Paw Shop. we just purchased a brothers embroidery se400 machine. My granddaughter is having problems when trying to do monograming because unless she uses the same color thread for the bobbin, the bobbin thread color shows thru in parts of the monograming. I’m so glad I found your blog cause I’ll bet u can help us!!

  2. Wendy says

    Hi Kamala
    I am commenting on the comment posted on 26 August 2014 regarding the rattling noise. I have only been using me sewing machine for 2 months and its suddenly started making this rattling clanging noise. I can’t decide whether its coming from the bobbin case or the bit where the upper tread is threaded through.
    Do you know whether there is a service centre in the UK that will fix/service a Brother SE400?
    I would be very grateful for any advice from you. THanks

    • Kamala says

      Hi Wendy, it does sound like it really should be looked at by a professional, especially since it’s still under warranty. I live in California and don’t know anything about service centers in the UK. But, Brother is an international company and sells things in the UK, so there should be something. Have a look at Brother.com. Or try Google. Good luck.

  3. Alice says

    Do you know how to make a space between words with the SE-400? I cannot find any info in my book or else I am over looking it. I need help!! I love using my machine, my little dog is getting a lot of monogrammed scarfs. She has them for all seasons. Thank you if you can help me.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Alice, Use the underscore character (_) to make a space. It’s on page 136 in the Operations Manual. And, yes, it’s obscure. So glad your little dog is enjoying her scarfs.

  4. Angie Willie says

    I am hearing a clattering noise when I embroider anything – it seems to possibly be coming from the bobbin. I have used it about 15 times and I am just now hearing this noise. I have lots more projects to do and don’t want to mess up my machine. Thank you!

    • Kamala says

      Hi Angie, something seems not right. Did you change anything when it started? new bobbin for example? Or maybe a bit of lint got down there. I would take the bobbin and case out and clean the race following the instructions on page 152 in the manual. Make sure there are no burrs or scratches. Change the needle. Maybe it’s slightly bent and hitting something. If that doesn’t work, try to find out where the noise is coming from exactly and when. Slowly turn the wheel manually.

  5. Nikki says

    Do you happen to know how to replace a broken spool pin on this machine (the one by the handle)? I have the new part, I’m just not sure how to go about replacing it.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Nikki, I’m sorry, I don’t know. Never had to do it. Didn’t the place where you bought the pin, have instructions?

    • Kamala says

      Hi Pam, those are interesting. I’ve looked but I don’t know of one that says it’s compatible with the SE400. New models come out all the time though, so I could be wrong.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Beatriz,
      If you have embroidery letter designs, each letter is in a separate embroidery file. You need embroidery editing software to merge the files and put the letters together to make names. Then you save the whole thing as one design, import into the machine and stitch it. If you need help, importing, have a look at my tutorial.

      I use Embrilliance because it runs on my Mac. (also runs on PC) People also like Embird and Sew What Pro.

      If you’re talking about computer fonts like for Word Processors and not embroidery letter designs.You will need software to convert the fonts to embroidery designs. Embird has an add-on that does this. There are others.

  6. Stephanie says

    What is your best suggestion for when a child unplugs the machine in the middle of a design? Is there anything you can do?

  7. Amber says

    Hi Kamala! Have you done appliqué with the SE400. There is a very small section in the manual but I am having trouble with the settings it mentions. Hoping you can help! Thanks!

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