machine love & nontraditional embroidery.

Last week, I upgrade from an Elna 500 (circa early 70’s) to a Brother SE 400. A few tutorials and reviews are in the works- but I am already so glad that I went with this new machine. A friend from college had recommended going with the Brother DZ 3000, but I just couldn’t commit to NO computerized embroidering: embroidery would spice up my daughter’s boring one-sies, it would simplify my monogram’s on Etsy, and allows me to create digital images to sew on new projects. I know back in the day my Mom embroidered on her Elna- but monograms and embroidery are kind of the lost arts and require a lot of practice. I didn’t want to spend more time to create fewer projects.

My brief review (more to come soon)- I love the SE 400! It is priced perfect right now on both Amazon and Walmart (both are $299), and comes with a lot of attachments. But the best part is the ease of use: there are video tutorials ON the machine (simple animated graphics that demonstrate hooking the embroidery hoop on, threading the machine, replacing the bobbin and more), easy automatic threading, one push thread cutting (LOVE this feature!), drop in bobbin winding, automatic reverse stitch/reinforcement stitches, and the embroidery features are addicting.

While I might not be an expert on embroidery (yet) I don’t need to be in order to create beautiful, customized gifts- in less than 5 minutes on my new machine! However, I am not a big fan of some ‘old school’ embroidery designs (like quite a few that came pre-loaded on the machine)- have no fear, the Brother SE 400 comes equipped with both a card slot and a USB port to download designs from the internet- and I have JUST THE place to find the BEST designs to download straight to my machine.

Drum-roll…  introducing: Urban Threads.

Applique Flowers

photo courtesy of


photo courtesy of

Master of Disguise

photo courtesy of

Looking for embroidered word-art? Yep. They do that. Animals? Yes. Holidays? You bet. Custom Creations? YES!

One of my favorites: freebies!!

Find an applique pattern or embroidery design (for machine or hand) and buy online! It is that easy. Download to your machine or card and sew away!!

Let me know your favorite design and share it with me here or @RefurbishedT or #RefurbishedTeacher on Twitter.


3 thoughts on “machine love & nontraditional embroidery.

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