Sewing and embroidery combo machines
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If you’re looking for a versatile machine that can do both sewing and embroidery, sewing and embroidery combo machines may be right for you. In this blog post, we will discuss what a sewing and embroidery combo machine combo is and provide some tips on how to choose the right one for your needs. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced sewist, read on to find out more!
What is a sewing and embroidery machine combo?
A sewing and embroidery machine combo is a machine that can do both sewing and embroidery tasks. This type of machine is perfect for anyone who wants to be able to do a variety of sewing projects, from basic repairs to more complex creations as well as embroider and appliqué.
Can’t every embroidery machine sew?
No. At least not in the traditional sense. Embroidery machines are made to sew a specific type of stitch, which is dictated in the embroidery design. They can stitch out elaborate designs as well as letters and monograms. But, unless they are a combo machine, they do not sew like a traditional sewing machine.
While some people use their embroidery machines to do quilting and to create in-the-hoop projects. But, once again, the stitching is controlled by the information in the embroidery design file that is read by the machine.
Therefore, if you’re looking to do any type of standard sewing project, but also want to do machine embroidery, you will need both a sewing and an embroidery machine. Or, you will need to own a sewing and embroidery combo machine.
Why buy a sewing and embroidery combo machine?
The biggest reason to buy a combo machine is the all-in-one factor. If you live in close quarters, then it doesn’t make sense to have two machines taking up space in your sewing room (or wherever you keep your machines).
Another big selling point for combo machines is that they are generally less expensive than buying both a sewing machine and an embroidery machine separately.
Why you may NOT want to buy a sewing and embroidery combo machine?
Of course, there are also some drawbacks to combo machines. For instance, they tend to be larger and heavier than a standard sewing machine, which can make them difficult to transport.
Additionally, because they are two machines in one, they can be more complicated to use than a single-purpose machine. If you’re a beginner, or if you’re looking for a machine that is easy to use, then a combo machine might not be the best option for you.
Changing your machine over from sewing to embroidery is a bit of a hassle. If you are working on a project that involves both sewing and embroidery, it takes a few minutes to convert your machine from one function to another. It’s much faster to hope over to a machine that is already set up.
So, if you’re trying to decide whether a combo machine is right for you, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully. Consider your needs as a sewist, you embroidery ambitions, your budget, and the amount of space you have available.
What is involved in switching from sewing to embroidery and back with a combo machine?
There are several steps involved in changing from sewing to embroidery with a combo machine. While every machine works a bit differently these are the necessary steps.
Remove your pedal
When you sew, you control your machine by stepping on the pedal. But, when you’re embroidering, the machine moves the fabric for you so you don’t need the pedal.
Change your top thread
Embroidery machines use different thread than sewing machines. So, you will want to remove your sewing thread and replace it with embroidery thread.
Change your bobbin thread
Typically, when you sew, you use a bobbin that is wound with the same thread as your top thread. But, for embroidery, you will want to use a bobbin that is wound with embroidery bobbin thread. This type of thread is thinner than sewing machine bobbin thread and it helps to pull more of the top thread to the back when you’re stitching out designs.
Change your needle
Embroidery machines use a special needle that is designed to handle the high stitch counts of embroidery designs. Embroidery needles also have a larger eye to allow the embroidery thread to glide through more easily.
Change your presser foot
Most combo machines come with a special embroidery presser foot that is used when you’re stitching out designs. Instead of having a rectangular shape (like the presser foot you use when you are sewing, the embroidery presser foot has a round base. It’s designed to not get snagged on your embroidery project below.
Lower your feed dogs
The feed dogs are the metal teeth that help to move your fabric along as you sew. When you’re embroidering, you don’t want the feed dogs to be engaged because they you don’t want your fabric pulled through the machine in one direction as you would when you are sewing. You want the hoop to be able to move in any direction.
Attach your embroidery module
The embroidery module is the part of the machine that holds your embroidery hoop. You will need to insert it into place and secure it before you can start stitching. In addition to snapping the module into place, you may also have to plug it into the main body of the machine.
Attach your embroidery hoop
To stitch out an embroidery design, you need to have your fabric secured in an embroidery hoop. The hoop holds the fabric taut so that the design doesn’t pucker or distort as you stitch. Instead of hooping your fabric, you can also float it – meaning that you can hoop your stabilizer and stick your fabric on top.
Turn on your machine
Once everything is in place, you can turn on your machine and select an embroidery design to stitch out.
Load your design
Once your hoop is in place, you can load your design into the machine. Most combo machines have a USB port that you can use to connect your computer to the machine and transfer your design.
After your design is loaded, you’re ready to start embroidering! Simply press the start button and let the machine do its work.
Just like that, you’ve successfully switched your combo machine from sewing to embroidery mode! This whole process can take a few minutes, and may seem like a lot, but it’s not difficult once you get the hang of it.
How do you choose the best sewing and embroidery combo machine for you?
So if the whole process of switching from one mode to another doesn’t put you off, then you need to find the right sewing and embroidery combo machine for you.
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a combo machine. First, consider your budget. These machines can range in price from around $500 to upwards of $3000. (The ones I’m suggesting below, are on the lower end of that scale.)
Second, think about the types of projects you want to sew and embroider. If you’re mostly interested in sewing clothes, then you’ll want a machine with a good selection of stitches and features for garment construction. If you’re someone who likes to do a lot of quilting, then you’ll want a machine that has a large throat space and maybe even some extra quilting feet. On the other hand, if you’re mostly interested in embroidery, then you’ll want to make sure the machine has a large embroidery hoop.
The best sewing and embroidery combo machines
The best sewing and embroidery combo machines will have a good selection of both sewing and embroidery stitches and features. They will also come with a large hoop, so that you can embroider larger designs. And finally, they will be within your budget.
Each of the options listed below have an automatic needle threader. They also have a bunch of built-in designs – but – honestly – I would just ignore the built-in designs, as I think they are all pretty ugly.
Now that you know what to look for in a combo machine, it’s time to start shopping!
Brother SE600 and SE625
The Brother SE600 and SE625 are both great machines for beginners, and they are nearly identical. The main difference between the two is the exterior color. They have a relatively small price tag (approximately $500 – $700). But, they still come with all the features you need to get started with sewing and embroidery.
Both machines have a large selection of stitches (103). They also have a few extra feet for garment construction and quilting. The downside of both of these machines is that the embroidery hoop size is only 4″ x 4″.
If you’re just getting started with sewing and embroidery, either of these machines would be a great choice for you because of their reasonable price tag, In addition, Brother machines have a reputation for being quite easy to use.
If you find that the number of sewing stitch types and the 4″ x 4″ embroidery hoop size offered by the SE600 and the SE625 is too small for you, but you still want to stick with a Brother sewing and embroidery combo machine, check out the Brother SE1900. It has a large five-inch by seven-inch hoop and comes with 240 different sewing stitches.
Yes – you will pay almost twice as much for the SE1900 than you would for the SE600, but as far as I’m concerned, the larger embroidery hoop may be worth it. I don’t believe that many of the other selling features make that much of a difference.
Singer Legacy SE300
If you crave an even larger embroidery hoop, while also having an extra small hoop for smaller projects, the Singer Singer Legacy SE300 may be the right sewing and embroidery combo machine for you.
This combo machine comes with both a (10 1/4 inch X 6 inch) embroidery hoop and small embroidery hoop (4 inch X 4 inch). An embroidery hoop of this size allows you to make some cool in-the-hoop projects that aren’t possible in smaller ones. It also has 250 different sewing stitches. So, if you are looking for an extremely versatile machine that can really do it all – this may be the way to go.
Babylock Verve Sewing and Embroidery Machine
You can’t go wrong with a Babylock. At least this is what many embroidery and sewing enthusiasts have relayed to me. Babylock has a great reputation and their machines are really solid. Perhaps this is why the price on the Babylock Verve is higher than its Brother counterpart.
The Babylock Verve has 191 built in stitches for sewing (which is more than the Brother SE600 and SE625). However, it has the same small embroidery hoop: 4″ x 4″, and the price is about $300 – $400 more.
So why would you consider it? Well – it’a Babylock. There are many Babylock dealers around the world where you can bring the machine in for service and repair. And some of these dealers won’t touch the less expensive consumer-grade machines like Brothers and Singers.
Now that you know what a sewing and embroidery combo machine is and how it works, hopefully you can decide if a combo machine is right for you. And, with so many different models on the market, it’s easy to find one that has everything you’re looking for.