Brother SE-400 — Sewing Stitch Patterns

The Brother SE-400 has 67 built in stitches for various types of sewing, including 10 styles of 1-step buttonholes. The stitches include several styles of Straight, Zigzag, Overcasting, BlindHem, Applique, Stretch, Patchwork, Quilting, Eyelet, Smocking, Decorative, Heirloom stitches and Side Cutter stitches. Side Cutter stitches, using an optional side cutter foot, finish seams by overcasting and cutting off the extra seam allowance similar to what a serger does.

The stitch length is adjustable up to 5mm and the stitch width up to 7mm for some stitch patterns. Stitch attributes include: Mirror, twin, multi-directional, side cutter, satin stitch regulator.

To select a stitch, use the arrow keys on the LCD touch screen to move through the stitch icons on the screen, select the stitch and choose the stitch settings.

Here are the utility and decorative stitches built into the Brother SE400:

Brother SE400 sewing stitches

Number Stitch Name Application
1 Straight stitch Basic stitching, sewing gathers or pintucks, etc.
2 Straight stitch Basic stitching and sewing gathers or pintucks
3 Straight stitch Attaching zippers, basic stitching, sewing gathers or pintucks, etc.
4 Triple stretch stitch Attaching sleeves, sewing inseams, sewing stretch fabrics and decorative stitching
5 Stretch stitch Sewing stretch fabrics and decorative stitching
6 Basting stitch Temporarily securing
7, 8 Zigzag stitch (left and right) Overcasting and attaching appliqués
9 2-point zigzag stitch Overcasting on mediumweight or stretch fabrics, attaching
elastic, darning, etc.
10 3-point zigzag stitch Overcasting on mediumweight or stretch fabrics, attaching elastic, darning, etc.
11 Overcasting stitch Overcasting on thin or mediumweight fabrics
12 Overcasting stitch Overcasting on thick fabrics
13 Overcasting stitch Overcasting on thick fabrics and decorative stitching
14 Overcasting stitch Overcasting on stretch fabrics
15 Overcasting stitch Overcasting on thick or stretch fabrics
16 Overcasting stitch Overcasting on stretch fabrics and decorative stitching
17 Blind hem stitch Blind hem stitching on mediumweight fabrics
18 Blind hem stitch Blind hem stitching on stretch fabrics
19 Appliqué stitch Appliqué stitching
20 Shell tuck stitch Shell tuck stitching
21, 22 Piecing straight stitch Piecing straight stitching (right and left)
23 Straight stitch that looks hand-sewn (for quilting) Straight stitch quilting that looks hand-sewn
24 Zigzag stitch (for quilting) Appliqué quilting, free-motion quilting, satin stitching
25 Appliqué stitch (for quilting) Attaching appliqués and binding
26 Quilting stitch (for stippling) Quilting background stitching (stippling)
27 Satin scallop stitch Scallop stitching
28 Joining stitch Patchwork stitching and decorative stitching
29 Joining stitch Patchwork stitching, decorative stitching and sewing overcasting on both pieces of fabric, such as with tricot
30 Joining stitch Patchwork stitching and decorative stitching
31 Smocking stitch Smocking stitching and decorative stitching
32, 33 Fagoting stitch Fagoting and decorative stitching
34 Elastic-attaching stitch Attaching elastic to stretch fabrics
35, 36, 37 Decorative stitch Decorative stitching
38 Decorative stitch Decorative stitching and elastic-attaching
39 Decorative stitch Lace sewing, decorative hemming, heirloom stitching, etc.
40 Decorative stitch Decorative hemming, heirloom stitching, etc.
41 Decorative stitch Decorative hemming on thin, mediumweight and plain weave fabrics, heirloom stitching, etc.
42 Decorative stitch Decorative hemming on thin, mediumweight and plain weave fabrics, heirloom stitching, etc.
43 Decorative stitch Decorative hemming on thin, mediumweight and plain weave fabrics, heirloom stitching, etc.
44 Decorative stitch Decorative hemming on thin, mediumweight and plain weave fabrics, heirloom stitching, etc.
45 Decorative stitch Decorative hemming, ribbon threading, heirloom stitching, etc.
46 Decorative stitch Decorative stitching, smocking stitching, heirloom stitching, etc.
47 Decorative stitch Decorative stitching, smocking stitching, heirloom stitching, etc.
48 Buttonhole stitch Horizontal buttonholes on thin and mediumweight fabrics
49 Buttonhole stitch Horizontal buttonholes on areas that are subject to strain
50 Buttonhole stitch Horizontal buttonholes on thick fabrics
51 Buttonhole stitch Secured buttonholes for fabrics that have backings
52 Buttonhole stitch Buttonholes for stretch or knit fabrics
53 Buttonhole stitch Buttonholes for stretch fabrics
54 Buttonhole stitch Bound buttonholes
55 Buttonhole stitch Keyhole buttonholes for thick or furry fabrics
56 Buttonhole stitch Keyhole buttonholes for mediumweight and thick fabrics
57 Buttonhole stitch Horizontal buttonholes for thick or furry fabrics
58 Darning stitch Darning mediumweight fabrics
59 Darning stitch Darning thick fabrics
60 Bar tack stitch Reinforcing openings and areas where the seam easily comes loose
61 Button-sewing stitch Button sewing
62 Eyelet stitch Sewing eyelets, for example, on belts
63 Side cutter (requires optional side cutter foot) Sewing straight stitches while cutting the fabric
64 Side cutter (requires optional side cutter foot) Sewing zigzag stitches while cutting the fabric
65 Side cutter (requires optional side cutter foot) Overcasting on thin and mediumweight fabrics while cutting the fabric
66 Side cutter (requires optional side cutter foot) Overcasting on thick fabrics while cutting the fabric
67 Side cutter (requires optional side cutter foot) Overcasting on mediumweight and thick fabrics while cutting the fabric

Click here to See all the features of the Brother SE400.

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Our Readers Respond ...

  1. Kathy says

    I am a little comfused about how to use the designs that came in my SE400 to make an applique embroidery. Can I make a basting design of embroidery designs (that came in the machine when I bought it) and then make the applique from that? Or do I have to download designs for that? I have learned so much from your website. I just really have no idea how to get started. Thanks

    • Kamala says

      Welcome, Kathy. There’s a lot to learn in the beginning, but just take it one step at a time. If you haven’t done any embroidery with the SE400, I would recommend that you start with a regular design and learn how the machine works, hooping, positioning, and stitching before trying an appliqué design. Because appliqués are the same as regular designs with extra steps so it’s good to get the basics down first.

      Appliqué designs are special designs that have the extra steps built-in. You select them and stitch them the same way. The SE400 comes with some appliqué designs. They are marked in the Quick Reference Guide with an asterisk (*) – #40, 43, 44 are appliqué designs and you can see the extra steps (the first three) for appliqués. If you want something different (I always do. ;-) ), you can download a design that you like. Just make sure the design is an appliqué design. The designer will clearly mark it if it is.

      I would suggest that you start with one of the built-in designs on a scrap fabric to learn. If you need help with the process, have a look at this tutorial: http://www.sewswell.com/applique_instructions01.html to see where the machine stops and what you do at each step.

      Also, the instructions in the manual are confusing. It means to set the color display SO THAT LATER when you’re appliquéing a design it can display the instructions. Just select your appliqué design and start the stitching and you’ll see the steps come up.

      Hope this helps

  2. Bonnie says

    A beginner trying to find the stitch to use with my 1/4 foot. The foot i bought from the Brother store does not have a letter on it so is this a true brother foot? The display panel is a little overwhelming.

    Thanks,

    • Kamala says

      Hi Bonnie, I don’t really understand what you mean. I use the SE400 for plain sewing and embroidery, so I’m not up on all the extra feet. If you bought it at a Brother store, it should be OK. Is it the “SA185 1/4 Inch Piecing Foot-Guide” or the “SA125 1/4″ Quilting Foot” or ??? I’ve never used these feet, so this is just a guess. Try it on scrap fabric first. It looks like you can use the regular centered straight stitch. For the piecing foot, there is a special piecing straight stitch. For quilting, you could also use the “Straight Stitch that looks hand-sewn.” Yes, it’s difficult to recognize the stitches on the display panel because there’s just a list of icons of all 67 stitches. I keep the manual open to page 70 where I can see the icons with the stitch number and name.

  3. Sarah Latshaw says

    Hi, I just got my new SE400 the other day and was experimenting with it. I tried the different
    stitches on a sample piece of material. I found that the stitches are loose on the side where it should be the correct side (the underneath side looks different) I ‘m only a beginner at this, so I’m sorry to ask this simple question! Ha! ha! I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, but I would appreciate some help. I have read the instruction book, but couldn’t find the answer to that question.
    Please help!

  4. KDP says

    I recently purchased the Brother SE-400 Sewing/Embroidery machine and exited to have
    discovered your website. I have never owned a computerized sewing machine; therefore, have
    much to learn. Your website will help tremendously. Thank you.

    • Kamala says

      You’re welcome – glad to be able to provide help where I can. Good luck on your projects, and thanks for visiting! I really appreciate your comment.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Lori, I don’t think so. I could only find a zig-zag stitch or the satin scallop stitch which does adjust the width automatically. Depending on your project, maybe you could use an embroidery design.

  5. Sarah says

    I like my Brother SE400, except for one thing. I would like to have a wider variety of decorative stitches for smocking. I know that I can add embroidery designs to the machine when its set up for embroidery, but can I add more decorative stitches to the machine’s internal memory to use during regular sewing? Thanks

    • Kamala says

      No, I don’t know of any way to add more regular sewing stitches. There are “in-the-hoop” projects that use embroidery stitches to construct a project instead of sewing it separately, but I don’t know how that would work for smocking.

  6. samantha says

    I just got my machine and am having a hard time with a satin stitch, I am trying to satin stitch around an applique on a cotton shirt and have tried everything I can think of… I’ve read the manual backward and forward and watched the cd and need help desperately from someone with this machine… Do you have any advise for this stitch?

    Thank you

    • Kamala says

      Hi Samantha,
      Sorry to be so long replying to you on Facebook.

      I don’t understand the 0 length you mentioned over on Facebook. Doesn’t it just go up and down in the same place and not move?

      I just tried a zigzag stitch #24 with 0.1mm length and it looks like it would work just fine for a satin stitch around an appliqué. If that doesn’t work for you, let me know what stitch you’re trying and the settings.

      Blessings, Kamala