How To Download Designs To The Brother SE400

Download designs with the USB port and cable

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the new USB port and downloading designs. This article will explain step-by-step how to download embroidery designs from your computer into a Brother SE400.

You can connect the Brother SE400 directly to your computer (PC or Mac) with the included USB cable. You can then download embroidery designs saved on your computer into the SE400 for stitching. You can also upgrade the internal software in the SE400 when Brother releases an upgrade.

NOTE: The USB port on the SE400 only accepts a USB cable that attaches to your computer. It is not compatible with USB drives, thumb or jump drives, memory sticks, etc.

Find Embroidery Designs that Work with the SE400

There are many websites where you can purchase embroidery designs and download them directly to your computer. Most sites have free designs you can try. You can also obtain designs on CDs. Designs on CD can either be saved to your computer first or copied directly to the SE400.

Make Sure the Design File Is Compatible with the Brother SE400:

.PES or .DST Embroidery Data File Format

The Brother SE400 can only read embroidery data files in .PES and .DST format. The best format for Brother embroidery machines is .PES because it contains information about the design such as number of stitches, number of colors, thread color names, and allows displaying an image of the design on the LCD panel.

Tajima (.dst) formats have some limitations that make them less convienent. Only the first eight characters of the file name are displayed in the LCD control panel. The image of the design cannot be displayed. Because the .dst format does not contain the thread color information, the design is displayed with Brother’s default thread color sequence. You will have to look at the design and pick the color you want for each displayed color.

Sometimes embroidery design files that you download from the Internet are “zipped.” You’ll know because the file name ends with “.zip”. On Mactinoshes and Windows XP and later, you can just double-click the file to “un-zip” it. (If this doesn’t work on Windows, you’ll need to install a free utility such as WinZip.) Then you’ll see the .pes files.

Design Fits in the 4×4 Inch Embroidery Area

Although the maximum embroidery size is commonly refered to as a 4×4 inch hoop size, it really doesn’t depend on the hoop. The embroidery unit of the Brother SE400 is physically incapable of embroidering a larger size because that’s the maximum amount the unit will move. The actual maximum size is 3.93 inches (9.98 cm or 99.8mm).

Check the File Name

The SE400 won’t recognize embroidery files with special characters in the name. If you have a file name with special characters, rename the file before uploading it to the machine. It’s safest to use only letters (upper and lowercase), numbers, “-”) and underscore (“_”) in file names.

Connect Your Computer to the Brother SE400

Included USB Cable USB Cable to SE400 USB Cable to Computer SE400 Connected to Computer

USB Cable Included
With The Brother SE400

Plug the square end
into the SE400.

Plug the flat end
into the computer.

The Brother SE400
Connected to the Computer

Plug the square end of the included USB cable into the USB port on the right side of the SE400. Plug the flat end of the cable into a USB port on your computer.

Make sure both the computer and the embroidery machine are turned on.

Brother SE400 LCDOn the SE400 LCD screen, press the USB icon. This will take you to a screen that will give you information about the designs you’re downloading.

Look at the LCD Screen

It’s helpful to glance at the Brother SE400 touch screen while you’re copying files over. The message “Transmitting by USB” will appear briefly during the actual file transfer. And then you’ll see this screen giving information about the designs you have transferred over:

Brother SE400 Control Panel after copying file

The first number at the top left of the screen is the total amount of memory you’ve used. The second number is the total amount of memory space. The SE400 can hold up to 12 designs or 476KB of data in its memory. After that you have to delete some old designs if you want to download more designs.

Next there is the button (looks like a pocket with an up arrow) for retreiving the pattern.

Under the button, there is the number of the current page and the total number of pages. Two designs are displayed on each page. In the photo above, I’ve uploaded three designs. So I’m on page 1 out of 2 pages.

At the bottom, there are images of the embroidery designs on the current page.

Copy the Embroidery Design Data Files to the Brother SE400

For Windows Computers (For Macintoshes, See Below.)

Back on your PC, you’ll have “Removable Disk” listed in “My Computer”:

Removable Disk on My Computer

Open the folder on your computer where you keep the embroidery files. Navigate to the particular design you want to download to the SE400. Right-click on the design file. Click on “Send to: Removable Disk”

Removable Disk on My Computer

Do not copy .zip files. You must unzip them first.

Do not copy folders to “Removable Disk.” The SE400 cannot recognize folders or find embroidery files in folders. The individual files must be added to “Removable Disk.”

Do not copy more than 12 designs to “Removable Disk.”

Embroidery Files in Removable Disk

For Macintoshes (For PCs, Skip This Section.)

Although the manual says the SE400 is only compatible with PCs, it’ll work just fine with a Macintosh.

The SE400 will show up as an external hard drive, named “No Name.” Just drag and drop the embroidery files to this drive.

No Name Drive on Macintosh

Do not copy .zip files. You must unzip them first. Just double-click it.

Do not copy folders to “No Name.” The SE400 cannot recognize folders or find embroidery files in folders. The individual files must be added to “No Name.”

Do not copy more than 12 designs to “No Name.”

A weird thing happens on the Macintosh. The Macintosh system puts invisible system files in “No Name” which the SE400 transfers over. So the amount of memory used can be 16 to 28KB when the machine is first connected to the computer, even before you’ve downloaded any designs. These files aren’t embroidery designs so there aren’t any images. Only the amount of memory used increases. This is isn’t a problem unless you’re pushing the memory limits with large embroidery files.

Retrieve the Embroidery Pattern

Move to the screen that displays the image of the embroidery design you want using the Next Page [<] and Previous Page [>] buttons on the right. Select the design by touching the image. The selected design will be displayed in reverse highlighting.

Retrieve the Embroidery Pattern

Then, press the Retrieve key (circled in red in the photo above).

The embroidery screen appears. From here you can check the colors, adjust the pattern, embroider it and/or save it to the machine’s memory.

embroidery screen

Embroider the Design

You can either embroider the pattern now or save it in the SE400’s memory to use later. If you want to embroider it now, make any adjustments you like, set the machine up for embroidery, and press the Start button to begin stitching.

Saving Embroidery Designs

Unsaved designs are lost when the SE400 is turned off. So if you want to use a design again without copying it from your computer, you must save it to the SE400’s memory. This is a convenient way to save names and designs that you use frequently. Or if you’re starting a project or several projects that involve several designs, you can transfer them all over at once and save them. I do this so I don’t have to keep moving my computer next to the SE400 because I don’t have a large working space.

You can save up to 12 designs or 476KB of data.

After retrieving the design you want to save by pressing the Retrieve Key and going to the embroidery screen, press the Memory button. “Saving…” appears while the pattern is being saved.

Saving the embroidery pattern

Retrieving Saved Embroidery Designs

From the first menu, press the Retrieve Key.

Retrieving the embroidery pattern

The saved designs are displayed. Go to the design you want using the Previous and Next Keys. Select it by pressing it. You can then delete it or retrieve it to embroider.

Retrieving the saved embroidery pattern

Hope This Helps

I get a lot of questions about how to download designs into the Brother SE400 and the manual isn’t very clear. Being able to easily transfer designs from my computer with USB is very important to me because I’m always wanting something different. So I hope this article helps you do it too.

If you don’t have your embroidery machine yet, check out my Brother SE400 review for detailed information. Click here to see today’s price on Amazon.com.

Please Join The Conversation

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Our Readers Respond ...

  1. Sharon Schaafsma says

    I Send a pattern to my machine from my pc and numbers show that it has so many kBMXG and said that it is transmitting from usb,but no pic comes up and can’t retrieve a pattern. HELP! Going nuts!!

    • Kamala says

      Hi Traci, You need Embroidery digitizing software to convert your a jpeg file to an embroidery data file that the SE400 can stitch (.pes format). Have a look at Embird. You will need the Embird basic engine and then add-on module(s) for the digitizing like the photo module (I forget what they call it). There are other choices too, but make sure it coverts jpeg.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Kathy, You need Embroidery digitizing software to convert your a jpeg file to an embroidery data file that the SE400 can stitch (.pes format). Have a look at Embird. You will need the Embird basic engine and then add-on module(s) for the digitizing like the photo module (I forget what they call it). There are other choices too, but make sure it coverts jpeg.

  2. leslie says

    I have a company logo I’d like to start using on my SE400. Do I only need the software if I hook the machine directly to my computer to add it to the machines memory? Will I need to digitize it first? And does that require separate software? Thank you!

    • Kamala says

      Hi Leslie, You don’t need extra software to copy a design from your computer to the SE400. However, you will need Embroidery digitizing software to convert your company logo file to an embroidery data file that the SE400 can stitch (.pes format). Exactly what software depends on the format of your logo. Have a look at Embird. You will need the Embird basic engine and then add-on module(s) for the digitizing. There are other choices too.

  3. jackie says

    I’ve had the SE400 for a few months now. What is the best embroidery software you recommend to use for this machine? I’ve come across a few but am confused with all that each can do. Which one is the easiest yet gives you a lot of options?

  4. Meg says

    Hello Kamala,
    Thank you SO MUCH for this tutorial. It was so helpful! I have a basic question for you. The machine comes with white embroidery bobbin thread. I have purchased red embroidery thread for my first project. Do I need to use the embroidery bobbin thread that came with the machine, or should I thread a bobbin with the red embroidery thread I purchased? IE is there specific embroidery thread that is just for the bobbin or will my red embroidery thread work for both the top threading and the bobbin? Thank you so much for your help!

    • Kamala says

      Hi Meg, Use the white bobbin thread that came with the machine for the bobbin and the red embroidery thread for the top. Bobbin thread is different–it is 60 weight, finer than regular thread. Pull out a piece of both threads and you can see the difference. Different machines use different weights for bobbins, so when you need to buy more bobbin thread, make sure you get 60 weight. You can also get it in black. The bobbin thread normally only shows on the back.

  5. Tempie says

    Hello I have been reading some of your suggestions, but I have a question I hope you can answer. I have a brother se400 and made monogram initials on word. I saved it in download and transferred it to my machine. It seems to have gone over but not seeing the pattern. Is there anything wrong I am doing or can you even transfer this since it is not in PES. I would great appreciate your advice or any help you could give me. I am new to all of this I just got my machine for Christmas.

    Thank you
    Tempie

  6. Lainie says

    Hi, I’m very new to the sewing and embroidery world. I recently purchased a brother se425, I’m liking it so far, but I’m stuck on what to do after I download Disney letters the machine from my computer. it’s showing on the machine but I cant select more than one letter to make a word. I don’t know what to do from there. Can you help or give me any suggestions or resources. Thanks!!

  7. Sharon Schaafsma says

    Thank you for your web site.just purchased a 400 and a little green at it.please keep posting info.thanks ,Sharon

    • Kamala says

      Hi Sharon, Welcome! Please read a couple of the “Getting Started” answers I just posted to the comments below. Enjoy and have fun creating beautiful projects.

  8. Gena says

    I have a SE425 embroidery machine . I got a design boutique 1 disk with 100 patterns on it to download to my machine but I can’t get it to download . I have windows 8 not real savy with it can you help?

    • Kamala says

      Hi Gena,
      CDs usually have a lot of files in different sizes and formats on it. I would first copy the designs that are compatible with the SE425 (.pes and less than 3.94″x3.94″) to your computer. I might also organize them in folders so I could find the ones I like. If they’re zipped, you need to unzip them. If you don’t know how to do this, get someone to show you. I don’t know anything about Windows 8 because I only use a Mac.

      You can’t download a whole CD with a hundred patterns to the SE425. The SE425 doesn’t have enough memory. The maximum number is 12, but start with just one that you want to use and follow my instructions in this article.

      Your computer can’t open embroidery designs. You need software to look at them on your computer just like to need Excel to open an Excel spreadsheet. For a very simple, free one, try Wilcom TrueSizer Software. There is also software (some free) for viewing designs, but I don’t remember what they are.

  9. Gwynne says

    I’m looking for an embroidery machine that will embroider something I designed. Does this machine do that? Or does it only embroidered pre-made designs?

    • Kamala says

      Hi Gwynne, It will embroider designs that you make. You will need embroidery digitizing software that runs on your computer to create your designs. Then you save the design as a .pes file and transfer it to the SE400 using the instructions in this article. There are many choices in software. Make sure it digitizes and not just edits. For example, Embird has the basic software that does editing and then add-on modules for creating your own designs.

  10. Nancy brown says

    I just bought the brother se400 embroidery machine.
    I am new to embroidery.
    Do you have to buy the ped basics?
    Why and why not ?
    I heard that brother is coming out with a driver u can download that will take place of this ped basic software.
    I am brand new to embroidery.
    Where do I begin?
    Thanks for your kindness.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Nancy, PED Basic is used to write designs on memory cards. You don’t need it unless you want to use cards instead of the USB port for transferring designs to your computer. For example, you can’t move move the computer next to the SE400 because you don’t have a laptop and the computer is in a different part of the house. I don’t have PED Basic. I prefer to just use my computer.

      I don’t know anything about new drivers. Anyway the USB port on the SE400 eliminates much of the need for PED Basic which is maybe what they’re referring to.

      To get started: Buy some cotton or blend, medium weight, woven fabric to test and learn on. Not a knit and no piles like towels. Buy some spools of embroidery thread in different colors. The bobbin thread comes with the SE400. Buy some medium-weight cut-away stabilizer. I think that’s all you need to get started.

      Start with the Quick Start guide. Learn to use the machine–the controls, menus, touch panel, threading top and bobbin (very important). Learn to hoop and position fabric and stabilizer. (look on YouTube for videos.)

      Forget software and downloading designs from the Internet for now. It’s just a distraction and another thing to learn. Use the built-in designs and learn how to select and position them, stitch, change colors, etc. Get your embroidery looking neat and the way you like it first with a built-in design. This eliminates a lot of variables when you’re just starting because if you have problems with a new design you downloaded, you never know if it’s the design, the software or something else. Once you’re comfortable with the machine and like your test embroidery, go on to downloading and real projects. This seems slower at first, but is actually a faster way to learn because you’ll save yourself a lot of time and grief fussing with software, etc. before you’ve learned the basics of the SE400 and embroidery. Build yourself a strong foundation and then go step-by-step.

  11. Anne says

    Hi Kamala, well having spent the last 4.5 days trying to figure out how to get me downloaded designs onto the machine, it all fell in place yesterday afternoon, it seems I didn’t have the right size hoop in the Embrilliance programme which I rectified by ‘adding’ 4 x 4, clicking on that and making sure my designs were in PES and not above the 3.93 x 3.93 has solved the problem. I can now get on with my quilting project.
    I am so pleased I stuck with it and I thank you for all your help

    • Kamala says

      Hi Anne, Congratulations for sticking with it and figuring it out. I’m so glad it’s working. I think if you have the wrong hoop size, the SE400 counts the empty space and thinks it’s too large even though the actual design is the right size. Maybe DST somehow removes the unused areas and that’s why it works with that other format.

  12. nicole boatright says

    hey. I’m new to downloading font. I have bought one and am trying to download but my computer is saying not enough space for the removable disc. can I please have some guidance on what to do? thanks

  13. Anne says

    I have the SE400 which I bought back from the States, I use it with a transformer and am really pleased with it, but I have just started to download designs from the computer with the Embrilliance digitizer and find that the machine will not read a PES file only a DST file, is this because I am in the UK and what difference will it make to the design, I must admit I haven’t actually stitched out a design yet as I am still struggling to get the machine to file the designs it keeps deleting them.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Anne, I can’t imagine how the SE400 or Embrilliance would know that you’re in the UK or care. I have Embrilliance Essentials, not digitizer, but I’ve never had any problem with .pes files. There must be something in the design that the more limited DST format doesn’t save. It doesn’t save the image or thread color information, for example, which is why I never use it. Or do you have a choice in PES version? Try pes1. Otherwise, start with a very simple design–small, one color and get that working with .pes. Then build up.

      The machine shouldn’t delete a design unless you turn it off without saving the design first.

      • Anne says

        Sorry Kamala I meant to say that I have the Embrilliance Essentials not digitizer. I would rather have the designs in PES but for some reason I can’t get them to show on the machine, somehow or another I managed to get 2 designs to show and save on the machine in DST but I haven’t stitched them out yet to see how they perform, and I haven’t a clue how I managed to do it.
        I have spent the last 3 days trying to get a special design onto the machine but with no success even though the 2 that I have managed to get on the machine are of the same design just another way around. Does the HOOP size shown in the bottom right hand of the computer screen have to show 3.93 x 3.93, only it seems to show much larger than that, even though I have it set in PES at 1000mm x1000mm and in DST 300mm x 300mm and I adjust the design to 3.5 x 3.5 to keep it under the 3.93 x 3.93.
        I am extremely new to this way of transferring designs, my other machine has ‘floppy disc’ transfer it is a fairly old Husqvarna Designer 1.
        I really hope you can help me as I am now on my 4th day of trying, and I am desperately trying to start a special quilting project for my grandson.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Julia,
      No. You really need a larger, more expensive machine if you want to stitch designs larger than 3.94×3.94″. The maximum embroidery area is a physical limitation of the machine in all components. You could research software to split the design into 3.94×3.94″ blocks or tiles that you stitch separately. I have only theoretical knowledge of this, because I think it’s very difficult or impossible with many designs to get the pieces lined up for beautiful, neat embroidery.

  14. Teresa says

    Hi, I have downloaded my designs to my se400 but they are not showing up as being downloaded. How can I see my designs so I can save them?

    • Kamala says

      Hi Teresa,

      I don’t fully understand all the reasons why this doesn’t work.

      It’s usually something with the design. Open it up in an embroidery editing program and have a look. If you don’t have embroidery software yet, you can use the free Wilcom TrueSizer Software. Make sure the design is less than 3.9″x3.9″. Many designers think they can create designs exactly 4.0″x4.0″ inches, but it’s really too large even thought the specs say it’s 4×4. I think that’s just marketing convenience or maybe a round off from the conversion from metric to inches.

      Make sure it’s centered in the frame and that there are no stray stitches or stop stitches outside the frame.

      But I saw a design once that had been created in SewWhat Pro and wasn’t recognized by the SE400. I saved it in Embrilliance and it worked. I don’t really know why, but I suspect that it was because the design was made of letters with overlapping objects. Not that the letters themselves overlapped, but the outline of the objects containing the letters overlapped and Embrilliance merged them.

      I know one other weird case. A guy tried to download a design three times without success, but then tried one last time and it magically worked. Neither he nor I really understand why.

      I’m sorry, this isn’t very helpful, unless your design really is a smidgen too large. But I’ve never had this problem myself and don’t understand all the cases.

  15. Sherry Johnson says

    Hello,

    I want to get a good machine for both easy sewing & monogramming. Will the Brother SE 400 be a good one for this?

    Thanks,
    Sherry

  16. Franz Andersen says

    Hello,
    Recently we had a water line break in our house and my wife’s embroider for the SE400 was ruined due to being submerged in water. I have been searching online and cant find the price to have the insurance company replace it anywhere.
    Could someone please help me with this proof that I need?
    Thank you.
    ~Franz A.

  17. Janice Lipe says

    I think this information will help me I just got my machine. And have never downloaded any thing on it.

  18. Eddie says

    Hi..my wife has a new Brother SE400 & would like to learn the embroidery. I have helped her somewhat but my daughter has asked her to a Disney design for a Disney Cruise and we are having some problems. We have purchased & downloaded to the pc the Disney letter fonts. I have uploaded only several letters to the SE400 and would like to put the together as a pattern like ..”The Wetmore Family” but am unable to get anymore than 1 letter…what am I doing wrong and is there a tutorial on how to do that. Please advise. THank you
    Eddie Wetmore
    732-259-0858
    [email protected]

    • Kamala says

      Hi Eddie, You’re right — the SE400 can only stitch one file/letter at a time. You’ll need software to merge the letters together into a word. Please see my post on monograming (it’s the same for words as for initials).

      • Eddie says

        Hi Again Kamala…I think I misled you ..sorry…we were able to use the embedded letters to make a word like “Sebastian”…we are not trying to merge letters…I guess a “phrase” something “Carol’s Kitchen” or similar which we have been able to do with their default letters. These were downloaded Disney letter sets to be able to make “The Wetmore Family”. I cannot piece the phrase from their letters like I was able to do with “Sebastian”…is that because they were downloaded and default letter sets ? what am I doing wrong…thank you for your response.
        Eddie

        • Kamala says

          Hi Eddie, OK, there is a difference between the built-in fonts (which can be combined in the SE400 to make words) and letter sets that you download.
          Letter sets come one letter per embroidery file (.pes or .pen). The SE400 can only stitch one embroidery file at a time. You need embroidery editing software to put the letters together to make names, words, or phrases or monograms which is called merging. Please see my post on monograming (it’s the same for words as for initials). There is no difference in the names or phases you want. The difference is whether the letters/fonts are built-in or downloaded.

          • Eddie says

            Again Hi…thank you for your prompt response & in the meantime I had gone over & reviewed your article on Monogramming..after reading that I did realize that the Disney fonts are individuals and I see now why you would have to either merge them or do them one at a time which would be a real pain. Thank you for your valuable insight into this…I think for now my wife has given up on the idea of the “Fish Extender” for my daughter & their cruise…too much to do in short amount of time…again Thank you.

          • Kamala says

            Hi Eddie, You’re welcome. So glad I could help and you figured it out. You’re right–to do them one at a time is more than a pain: it’s tedious and time-consuming and worse, I have never been able to get them lined up so I was happy with it. Maybe it would work for someone with better positioning skills than mine. There is a learning curve with machine embroidery. Better to relax and take it step-by-step.

  19. Chris says

    Hello!
    First of all, thank you for your great articles and videos…they are all so helpful. I’m new to all of this, but I’m thinking of getting the SE 400 for an embroidery project I’d like to start. This might seem obvious, but I just wanted to check with you…does this machine allow you to make your own designs from scratch on something like Adobe Illustrator and then upload them into the machine? Or can you only use pre-made designs from other websites? Thank you so much for the help!

    Best,
    Chris

    • Kamala says

      Hi Chris, this isn’t really up to the SE400. One of the things I like about the SE400 is that you’re not dependent on the machine for making designs. You create your designs (or modify or edit someone else’s) using embroidery software that runs on your computer. You then save the design as a .PES file and transfer it to the SE400. This gives you a lot more power and flexibility in creating designs. The SE400 won’t read any files from something like Adobe Illustrator. AI format doesn’t specify embroidery properties such as stitches, color changes, etc. You need special embroidery software that actually let you work with objects rather like Illustrator, but are tailored for embroidery. There are many options. I use Embrilliance because it runs on my Mac (PC version too). Many people like Embird or SewWhat Pro. Which one is often a matter of personal taste. They all have free trials, so you can see if you like it before buying.

      For creating your own designs from scratch, you’ll need the more advanced version. Take Embird, for example, you need the basic engine which lets you edit designs, merge letters to create words, etc. Then for creating your own designs, you’ll need the digitizing add-on module. There are also other add-on modules for different things such as converting a photo (jpg) to an embroidery design.

      One more thing. Be sure that the project you have in mind will fit in a square about 3.9″x3.9″. Draw it out and see. This is the biggest limitation of the SE400.

  20. deby pink says

    I would like to know how to download patterns and logos from the computer to the brother PE500 embroidery machine

    • Kamala says

      Hi Deby, It should be the same as for the SE400. Did you follow my instructions in this tutorial? If it’s not the same, then I don’t know because I only have the SE400.

  21. Leslie says

    The first design I made in Embird was great. The second one won’t transfer to my brother se-400. The error states that there are properties that didn’t copy. I can’t figure out what I did different the second time?

    • Kamala says

      Hi Leslie,
      I can’t know what you did different. Wonder what it means by properties? Color, number of stitches? This is tedious, but as a general troubleshooting in cases like this, you may have to start completely over and test it at each step of the way until you find out what fails. Unless you can figure out the difference by looking at the two designs.

  22. Sheena says

    Hello..Maybe you or someone can help me with a problem I’m having with my embroidery machine. I just got the Bother PE 500 as an early christmas gift and I put white thread in the bobbin and I will thread a color thread throught the machine to the needle and when it embroiders its all in white, its like its sewing with the bobbin thread and not the color thread.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Sheena,
      Did you use embroidery bobbin thread in the bobbin? I don’t know much about the PE500 except it’s like the embroidery unit of the SE400 which I have. You need special embroidery bobbin thread for the bobbin. It’s very light weight — 60wt for the SE400. Some pre-wound bobbins and a spool of bobbin thread came with the SE400. If that’s not it, you’ll have to check the tension. Find the instructions in the Operations manual. And re-thread everything. Sometimes that helps, even when I’ve already done it the exact same way. ??? If none of that helps, you’ll have to call Brother Support. It shouldn’t do that. I’ve actually never seen this problem, so I’m sorry I can’t be more specific.

  23. MaggieLance says

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  24. Annette Miller says

    hi I enjoyed read your comments I just purchase my first embroidery machine a Brother PE 770 which I love but learning that I want do more designs than came on my computer I have been tranfering from Internet to USB port but I relied that when doing lettering they not close together what type of software I did to purchase and what I need to tranfer from computer to machine?

    In need of help!
    Annette

  25. Margaret Christian says

    My daughter gave me a SE 400 machine . Do I need Brother -PED-basic software downloading to install to my computer. It is on sale at Amazon for around 80.00

    Thanks so much

    Peggy

    • Kamala says

      Hi Margaret, No, you don’t need the PED-Basic software unless you have a special reason for wanting to organize your embroidery designs on memory cards. I don’t have it. I save and organize my designs on my laptop and transfer them to the SE400 with the USB cable as in this tutorial. I think that’s a lot easier than dealing with cards, but for people who can’t move their computer next to the SE400, cards are the only way.

  26. Jackie says

    I,m having trouble in transfer a pattern from the computer to the machine. It will transfer but when I disconnect from the computer it won’t stay in the machine . What am I doing wrong

  27. Amy says

    Is it possible to monogram the 3 capital initials but make them different sizes with the se400? I am new to this and have been trying to figure it all out.

    Thank you!

  28. Karen Pettlo says

    I am getting the SE400 for a Christmas present this year. I know I will have lots of questions once I get it and set it up, so I would love to discuss with you once I have the machine! Thanks!!! (question though now – I recognize that I need the .pes downloads. Can I get them now and save them on my computer – to use once I do get the machine? I want to monogram (single letter) and embroider names…

    • Kamala says

      Hi Karen, How wonderful that you’re getting a SE400 for Christmas. You have a lot of fun and creativity ahead of you. To get started, you need some embroidery thread (embroidery bobbin thread comes with the machine) and some woven fabric to play around with an test. Don’t start with knits–it’s more difficult. And some stabilizer – medium weight, cut-away to start. Then just sit down with the machine, the Quick Start, and the User’s Manual. Learn all the controls and go through everything step-by-step. Don’t just read it, try everything on your test fabric. You don’t need .pes download files to start. You can practice with the built-in designs and save the downloading steps for later. But if you can’t resist, yes, you can save them on your computer and use later. You’ll build up a library of designs you like that’s far too large to save in the SE400 anyway. Please have a look at my article on monograming: “How to Make a 3-Letter Monogram with a Larger Middle Letter.” If you have questions, please read the comments on this site. Many beginners have the same questions and I’ve answered them many times. I’m sorry I can’t do personal discussions. I do this site in my very little spare time, because I love to share about embroidery, but I can’t really even keep up with the comments.

  29. Big Hair in Tx says

    I just received my SE400. I have a few questions:
    1..I was wondering about the best embroidery sites for the free ones and purchase ones.
    2.. As well as which software are best.
    3..I purchased the extra larger hoops, do they work
    My preference at the moment is quilting and monogramming.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Big Hair in Tx,

      1. There’s no such thing as the best sites or software–Only which ones have what you want. There are many, many good ones. I list some sites I like for monogramming in my article on monograming: “How to Make a 3-Letter Monogram with a Larger Middle Letter.”

      2. For embroidery editing software: I use Embrilliance because it runs on my Mac (PC version too). Many people like Embird or SewWhat Pro. They all have free trials, so you can see if you like them before buying.

      3. The large hoop does work, but probably not in the way you’re expecting or want. Nothing can change the SE400’s 4″x4″ maximum embroidery area. This is a physical limitation of the hardware and not the hoop size. Please see my review on the Brother SA434 4-Inch-by-6 3/4-Inch Large Hoop for what the large hoop does do.

  30. Susan says

    I am interested in purchasing my first computerized embroidery / sewing machine. Thankful I found your site. I am trying to learn as much as I can before I move forward.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Susan, That’s wonderful! Machine embroidery is so much fun, not to mention addicting. The biggest thing to design before buying the SE400 is whether you want to stitch designs larger than 3.9″x3.9″. If you do, you really need a larger machine. I love my SE400, but I do a lot of sewing and embroider small things.

  31. demetrius says

    I did everything u said step by step & nothing is happening. There is nothing on my machine screen but 8/476KB. so please tell me what am i doing wrong? I really need to embroider a picture. Sign, Really getting mad

  32. dee siddle says

    i can follow you. thank you so much. love my machine, but even when i call the help center, they sometimes dont know. i would love to know how to embrodiery a real name. like 5 or six letters.

    • Joyce de la Rosa says

      Thank you for your article. I’ve had my SE400 for a couple of years now and have been trying to get help in downloading. I live in No. Idaho so getting hands on help is almost an impossibility (unless you own a Pfaff or some other extremely expensive machine). I’ll be trying this tomorrow to see if I can get this to work.

  33. Tammy Wells says

    I am new to using an embroidery machine. I have attempted to download a pattern and then move it to my machine. I can see that space has been taken up in my data on my machine but when I try to pull up the design the screen says there are no designs there….please help!!

    • kristen says

      I’m having the same problem! The files are .pes files and I followed the instructions step by step, but nothing shows up on my se400 screen, even though internal memory changes. Help!

      • Kamala says

        Hi kristen,
        I don’t fully understand all the reasons why this doesn’t work.

        It’s usually something with the design. Open it up in an embroidery editing program and have a look. If you don’t have embroidery software yet, you can use the free Wilcom TrueSizer Software. Make sure the design is less than 3.9″x3.9″. Many designers think they can create designs exactly 4.0″x4.0″ inches, but it’s really too large even thought the specs say it’s 4×4. I think that’s just marketing convenience or maybe a round off from the conversion from metric to inches.

        Make sure it’s centered in the frame and that there are no stray stitches or stop stitches outside the frame.

        But I saw a design once that had been created in SewWhat Pro and wasn’t recognized by the SE400. I saved it in Embrilliance and it worked. I don’t really know why, but I suspect that it was because the design was made of letters with overlapping objects. Not that the letters themselves overlapped, but the outline of the objects containing the letters overlapped and Embrilliance merged them.

        I know one other weird case. A guy tried to download a design three times without success, but then tried one last time and it magically worked. Neither he nor I really understand why.

        I’m sorry, this isn’t very helpful, unless your design really is a smidgen too large. But I’ve never had this problem myself and don’t understand all the cases.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Tammy,
      I don’t fully understand all the reasons why this doesn’t work.

      It’s usually something with the design. Open it up in an embroidery editing program and have a look. If you don’t have embroidery software yet, you can use the free Wilcom TrueSizer Software. Make sure the design is less than 3.9″x3.9″. Many designers think they can create designs exactly 4.0″x4.0″ inches, but it’s really too large even thought the specs say it’s 4×4. I think that’s just marketing convenience or maybe a round off from the conversion from metric to inches.

      Make sure it’s centered in the frame and that there are no stray stitches or stop stitches outside the frame.

      But I saw a design once that had been created in SewWhat Pro and wasn’t recognized by the SE400. I saved it in Embrilliance and it worked. I don’t really know why, but I suspect that it was because the design was made of letters with overlapping objects. Not that the letters themselves overlapped, but the outline of the objects containing the letters overlapped and Embrilliance merged them.

      I know one other weird case. A guy tried to download a design three times without success, but then tried one last time and it magically worked. Neither he nor I really understand why.

      I’m sorry, this isn’t very helpful, unless your design really is a smidgen too large. But I’ve never had this problem myself and don’t understand all the cases.

  34. Allison Arisco says

    I have a few patterns I’ve downloaded off the internet that are PES files, when i move them over the machine acknowledges that they have been transmitted but there is no picture of the design to click on to embroider. Do you know how to fix this? I’ve tried different formats, i’ve tried different naming but I can’t get it to work at all.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Allison,
      I don’t fully understand all the reasons why this doesn’t work.

      It’s usually something with the design. Open it up in an embroidery editing program and have a look. If you don’t have embroidery software yet, you can use the free Wilcom TrueSizer Software. Make sure the design is less than 3.9″x3.9″. Many designers think they can create designs exactly 4.0″x4.0″ inches, but it’s really too large even thought the specs say it’s 4×4. I think that’s just marketing convenience or maybe a round off from the conversion from metric to inches.

      Make sure it’s centered in the frame and that there are no stray stitches or stop stitches outside the frame.

      But I saw a design once that had been created in SewWhat Pro and wasn’t recognized by the SE400. I saved it in Embrilliance and it worked. I don’t really know why, but I suspect that it was because the design was made of letters with overlapping objects. Not that the letters themselves overlapped, but the outline of the objects containing the letters overlapped and Embrilliance merged them.

      I know one other weird case. A guy tried to download a design three times without success, but then tried one last time and it magically worked. Neither he nor I really understand why.

      I’m sorry, this isn’t very helpful, unless your design really is a smidgen too large. But I’ve never had this problem myself and don’t understand all the cases.

  35. Edith Smith says

    hi , glad I stumbled upon your website, my ? is can the SE425 use the ped-basic software

    my computer is windows 7

  36. Denise says

    I have been reading your blog and have found it so informative! I have purchased an SE 400 and would like to begin personalizing items for gifts and for my grandchildren. I have found some software called Letter It by Amazing Designs. It is less expensive than the Embrilliance Essentials software, but sounds comparable in many ways. It also has good reviews by customers. However, I have an Apple iMac and the software says it requires windows. I noticed that you have said many windows-based software programs will still work on Macintosh computers. Are you aware of this software, and if so, do you know if it would work on my computer? If you are not familiar with it, I wonder if any of your readers might be able to answer my questions. Thanks so much!

    • Kamala says

      Hi Denise, You can run Windows software on a Mac. There are two ways: directly, setting up a separate hard drive and using Bootcamp. I’ve never done this and don’t know anything about it. And running on the Mac which is what I have done, but not lately. You’d need emulation software such as Parallels or VMFusion and a copy of Windows. All that will be more expensive the Embrilliance and a lot more trouble. So I don’t recommend it unless you especially need some feature you can only get on the higher end software.

  37. Dana says

    I have the LB-6800 model and this and the SE400 are very similar. I followed your directions to a T. My machine is showing that it as memory taken but there is not picture on the LCD display being shown. Does it take a while to get into the machine? The file that I have is small enough and is a .pes file. I’m not sure what I am doing wrong. It’s for my business and would like to get some shirts done without having someone else do them. I’m anxious to use my machine as well. This put a downer on me.
    Please any suggestions would be grateful.
    Thank you

    • Kamala says

      Hi Dana,
      Open the file in embroidery editing software. (My Editor is a free one or try the free trial of Embird if you don’t have software.) Make sure the design is less than 3.9″x3.9″ and that the design is centered in the hoop/frame and that there are no stray stitches outside the hoop/frame area.

  38. Kary says

    Hi Kamala!
    Is there a free software that splits a design to be used in a Brother SE425 with the multipositional hoop 4×7? Thanks

  39. Rona says

    I am getting ready to purchase the Brother SE425 and this was a concern to me as I do have a MacBook Pro and was a little upset when it said that it wasn’t compatible with my MacBook. But your blog / tutorial has been a Godsend to me. I am going to go purchase this machine now.

  40. Judee says

    Looking for the prewound bobbins that work with this machine…I have read a lot have problems with the prewound bobbins … do you use them? If so can you link me to the ones that work with this machine? Or tell me the brand and numbers? Thank you Sooooo much!!

  41. Adriana de Adams says

    Hallo Kamala, thank you very much for your explanations. I enjoy learning all you show. Yesteday I bought a Brother SE $00 and I´m learning what to do, so I will read and read all you share with us.
    Kind regards, Adriana

    • Kamala says

      Hello Adriana,
      Welcome to this site and the very fun world of machine embroidery. I’m so glad I can help.
      Kind regards, Kamala

  42. Jen Budde says

    I’m having issues when using Embrilliance and my se400. Anytime I align a design or text off-center, it automatically moves it to center when I transfer it to the machine. It is making me absolutely crazy because I have no good reference on where to hoop. Please let me know if you have a solution.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Jen, I don’t think the design is related to the hoop the way you’re thinking. It’s more of a workspace in Embrilliance. When Embrilliance saves the design, it doesn’t save the whole hoop area. It only saves the design itself. This makes for a smaller file size and saves memory in the SE400. If you open the design again in Embrilliance, you’ll see that it gets centered on the canvas. It doesn’t know anything about offsets or off-center because the only reference it has is the design itself.

      You hoop so that the center of the hoop is where you want the center of the design to be on the item. Or you can hoop and then move the needle to where you want the center of the design.

      Hope this helps,
      Kamala

    • Kamala says

      Hello Yaritza, Please read the tutorial on this page. I show screenshots and photos of using the SE400 with my MacBook. (just skip over the Windows’ screenshots.) For embroidery software, I use Embrilliance because it runs on my Mac.

      • Rona says

        Hi Kamala. How much does this software cost? I have a MacBook Pro myself and don’t want to be limited. I am getting ready to purchase the Brother SE425.

        • Kamala says

          Hi Rona,
          You don’t need additional software for downloading from your MacBook Pro. You will need editing software to merge designs including monograms and using fonts for words, etc. I use Embrilliance because it runs on my Mac (PC version too). They have several versions depending on your needs. I don’t know the current prices.

  43. Shelia Ward says

    I have the SE400 and cannot find where I need to go to down load the .pes program to be able to down load embroidery designs. I don’t have the CD slot in my lap top to be able to watch the 2 DVD’s that came with my machine and I have tried to google help from Brother about this but cannot find that answer. Please help.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Shelia, I don’t understand. .pes is not a program. They are embroidery data files which contain instructions to tell the SE400 how to embroider a particular design. For example, the butterfly design file I used in this tutorial is ATG-SFT003.pes which I downloaded from EmbroideryDesigns.com. You don’t need additional software for downloading designs from your laptop. The software is built in to the SE400 and your laptop. Did you read this tutorial? I explain all this with screenshots. The DVDs won’t help you because the USB port is rather an add-on feature and explained in an extra manual called Instruction Manual: USB Connection. But really my tutorial on this page is better which is why I wrote it. ;-)

  44. marissa says

    I have paid for to in stand downloads got the ones I was suppose to downloaded them. They are saying it’s there but it’s not. Getting berry frustrated. I have the brother Se 400 and I wouldn’t recommend it. Way to complicated it’s just been wasting my time and money.

  45. Samantha says

    I still can’t see the designs on my SE400. I tried to resize my work but even when the design is 1in by 1in I can’t see it. Please help

  46. Sandra Shafer says

    Hi, I recently purchased some downloadable designs. I could not use them because they were too large for my embroidery frame, I have an SE 400. The company reconfigured them to fit my frame. I was able to send them to my machine, but only the KB used showed, not the image. I could not get any further with them. Any suggestions?

  47. Cheryl says

    Thank you for this tutorial, as I was having doubts about purchasing this machine. Now I think I will, just for the embroidery, as I have other sewing machines. You took the fear out of the usb to sewing machine besides other very important info. Thanx again

  48. Catrenna says

    I have a Brothers SE425 and when I download a picture that I put in .pes format it only reads part of the picture. What am I doing wrong? I am trying to make patches and it is only reading part of the picture. How do I fix it? Where do I find info to fix it?

  49. Louise Costa says

    I downloaded an embroidery pattern to my brother se400. The screen shows 84/476KB P1/P1. But when I hit the retrieve key, nothing comes up!

    • Charlotte Goodman says

      Louise , Same thing here on my SE400. Mine is 200kb. Does it take longer because the file is so big? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

      • Kamala says

        Hi Charlotte, It shouldn’t take long. The SE400 usually doesn’t recognize it because the design itself is larger than about 3.9×3.9″.

        • Kyle says

          I have the same issue. Have searched high and low for a solution and can’t find one anywhere. Using SewArt…made a .PES file…..first 2 worked great. Single color, set size at 3.95×3.95….no issues. Transfered, stitched..done. Now, I try to make a 2 color design, same measurements…does same thing everybody else is saying, shows transmitting, shows space being used….no picture. Even dropped it to a 2×2….same thing, no picture. Made it a single color….showed up just fine. Is there something about doing a multi color design (homemade, not “store bought”) that needs to be converted some how or another to get it to read properly….?

          • Kamala says

            Kyle has told me he tried it again and it worked. Yeah, Kyle! But we still don’t understand why happened the first times.

  50. Karen says

    Just purchased a brother PE150 machine and the PED Basic softwear – The softwear has some free designs but after I have used a purchased cd of designs I cannot find the samples again. I haven`t deleted anything, – can you give me some help and tell me what to do to get the free designs back again – Thank you

  51. Chrissy says

    if you googled this trying to figure out why you aren’t seeing your pattern on the screen of your machine (but it shows data used when downloaded) i figured it out!! My pattern was too large for the hoop so it wouldn’t show. Shrink it and retry! You’re welcome!

    • Kamala says

      Thank you, Chrissy. There are other reasons, but that’s the most common. So glad you figured it out. Congratulations!

    • Louise Costa says

      Thanks Chrissy! My book said the pattern would fit in the 4×4 hoop but obviously it’s still to big. This was driving me nuts. Thanks again.

      • Kamala says

        Hi Louise, The actual limitation is about 3.9″x3.9″so your book might not take that into account. I think Brother just rounded it up to 4 inches when they converted from the metric size because it’s an easier number.

    • Francesde1st says

      This might sound like a stupid question but here goes! When you said shrink it and retry , did you mean shrink it with an embroidery software on the computer or did you mean the shrinking button on the se400 sewing machine itself? I’m talking about the button with the arrows pointing in to resize the design.

      • Kamala says

        Hi Frances, you can generally use either method to resize a design. But if the image is larger than 3.9″x3.9″ to start with, you won’t be able to see it in the SE400 control panel and therefore can’t use the built-in resizing functions. In that case, you have to use embroidery software on your computer. Also, the resizing functions built-in to the SE400 aren’t as powerful as embroidery software. So I usually use software for editing. I use Embrilliance because it runs on my Mac (PC version too). If you don’t have embroidery software yet, you can use the free Wilcom TrueSizer Software.

      • Francesde1st says

        Just downloaded a free program. OESD.ARTsizer. Looks like it will do what I need including split designs but have not tried it on the machine itself. Will look into the Wilcom TrueSizer. Thank you .

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