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243 of 250 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginning 'Broidery
If you want to try your hand at a little bit of machine embroidery without investing tons of money in a machine, the PE500 is the one for you. (Amazon was offering it at 50% off, at $299 a tremendous incentive to buy.) This embroidery machine comes with a medium-sized embroidery hoop, 2 pre-wound bobbins, 3 spools of embroidery thread, 3 stabilizer sheets, a small...
Published on July 6, 2012 by D Bricher

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251 of 265 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Embroiders well, but requires additional software.
The embroidery quality of the machine is beautiful (on what I've done so far- which is just broadcloth). However, beware of the "4x4" embroidery area claim. It has the CAPABILITY to do 4x4 inch lettering, but you have to purchase additional software to get it to that size. The largest letter is will do is 2.54 inches. I called brother and they just said I'd have...
Published 19 months ago by Amanda Mason


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243 of 250 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginning 'Broidery, July 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Brother PE500 4x4 Embroidery Machine With 70 Built-in Designs and 5 Fonts (Misc.)
If you want to try your hand at a little bit of machine embroidery without investing tons of money in a machine, the PE500 is the one for you. (Amazon was offering it at 50% off, at $299 a tremendous incentive to buy.) This embroidery machine comes with a medium-sized embroidery hoop, 2 pre-wound bobbins, 3 spools of embroidery thread, 3 stabilizer sheets, a small scissors, plus the usual Brothers grab bag of essential sewing machine tools. There are only 70 designs pre-loaded on the machine, but you can do monogramming in your choice of 3 different alphabet styles and acquire more designs via embroidery cards or transfer them from your pc via the cable that is included in this package. Many more designs can be obtained from Brother's ibroidery website. Unlike a couple of other Brother sewing machines that I've used in the past, bobbins wind smoothly and evenly with a minimum of fuss.

Having problems? With a push of a button, help screens are easily accessible - right on the machine itself!

This machine is a delight to use, but if it doesn't stitch first check the upper threading. The tension at point #2 (diagrams for all threading are painted on the exterior of the machine) can be tricky. If you have the presser foot down, there is a good chance that your thread isn't on the right of the little metal bar. There actually is a take-up bar at point #4 that is recessed into the machine (Shades of those old Singers in Home Ec classes from eons ago!) and the thread must pass from right to left when it catches in there. Well, at least we don't have to actually push the thread through a little round hole anymore. If it still refuses to sew, gently remove the hoop from the embroidery unit and check the bobbin at the same time that you cut all the trailing threads underneath. The PE500 gets confused if there are too many tails under the material; it thinks that it's done sewing. Gently reattach the hoop and use the Adjust feature to pick stitching exactly where you left off.

It's possible to invest another boatload of funds into embroidery machine thread. I found a set of 40 large spools in Brother-compatible colors for less than $40. (Substitute a 'close' color if an exact match was not in the set.) [[ASIN:B0049O3PW8 40 Large Spools Embroidery Machine Thread for Brother With Thread Locking Spool]

The largest possible size of your design is 4" X 4" - quite small compared to professional embroidery machines, but the PE500 is a good machine for learning the basics of machine embroidery.
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251 of 265 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Embroiders well, but requires additional software., July 12, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Brother PE500 4x4 Embroidery Machine With 70 Built-in Designs and 5 Fonts (Misc.)
The embroidery quality of the machine is beautiful (on what I've done so far- which is just broadcloth). However, beware of the "4x4" embroidery area claim. It has the CAPABILITY to do 4x4 inch lettering, but you have to purchase additional software to get it to that size. The largest letter is will do is 2.54 inches. I called brother and they just said I'd have to buy the software (which is $399 for the "cheaper one". I was very disappointed because one reason I wanted an embroidery machine was to monogram a 4 inch (or close to it) letter for my children's Christmas stockings. Also, of the 70 designs that come with the machine, almost half are just fancy letters. I would recommend this machine for it's embroidery quality, just know what your getting as far as it's capabilities. If you've never embroidered before: You need a good stabilizer... the one that they offer in the "what people frequently buy together" package is absolutely horrible! It does not work at all! I would recommend the kind that comes with the machine (they only give you 3 sheets). It is called "Pacesetter Premium Mid-Weight Tear Away Stabilizer Pre-Cut Sheets"; it worked awesome, Hope this review helps someone ☺!
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189 of 200 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Embroidery Machine for the Beginner!, August 12, 2012
By 
Robert Welborn (Illinois/Florida) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brother PE500 4x4 Embroidery Machine With 70 Built-in Designs and 5 Fonts (Misc.)
I have had this machine for about 3 months now and I actually like it better then my Brother PE770. I like my PE770 cause it can embroider up to 5x7" designs. The Brother PE500 has a maximum embroidery size of 4x4". I had it working within 5 minutes of taking it out of the box. I had my PE770 for 2 years and it was never opened when I got this machine...I was scared to take it out of the box. After using the PE500, I couldn't believe that I was intimidated my machine embroidery. The PE500 has a self threader that has worked for me every time...my PE770's threader has never worked for me yet. The only thing I don't like about the PE500 is that you have to connect it to a computer to load designs...it has some nice designs preloaded on it already and a few fonts too! The memory in it is capable of holding 12 more designs that you load onto it...if you want more, you have to delete some. All The Brother machines use the .PES format, and once you get this machine, you will go crazy searching for designs.The PE500 is so easy to use...it might take you a few ruined projects to get used to your machine, but practice on old scraps of fabric and get used to stabilizers and what kind to use with each fabric and you won't regret owning this machine! This machine will make you become an embroidery junkie!!!! Before you know it, you will be wanting a bigger machine! After playing with this machine for a week, I finally opened my PE770. The PE500 was much easier to get used to. This machine takes regular sewing home machine needles. If you have any troubles with this machine, do not adjust your tension!!! Before adjusting the tension, make sure that your bobbin is in correctly and that you are using the correct stabilizer for the job. Also make sure you have a sharp needle or if using stretchy material a ball point needle. Also if having trouble, make sure your bobbin area is clean of lint and that there are no little pieces of thread caught in the tension discs. Most of the time, this will fix any issues that you think might be tension. Poly thread works better also, as it doesn't make as much lint.
I love this machine and I have no regrets at all!!!! This machine is Brothers solution to entry level embroidery only and is billed as the first embroidery machine for under $300.
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91 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT, May 24, 2012
By 
This review is from: Brother PE500 4x4 Embroidery Machine With 70 Built-in Designs and 5 Fonts (Misc.)
I M having the best time with this machine It is so easy to operate I am not a sewer but sence I have gotten this machine I cant STOP be sure to search for PES FILES and make sure you only get the 4 X 4 designs any bigger will not show up on your machine.
ALL I CAN SAY IS I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!
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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars first time, September 19, 2012
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This review is from: Brother PE500 4x4 Embroidery Machine With 70 Built-in Designs and 5 Fonts (Misc.)
I am a first time user of an embroidery machine. I was able to use it right out of the box.The machine was easy to set
up and use .This is a very good for beginners.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Regrets one year in, December 4, 2013
By 
S. C. (Pacific Northwest) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Brother PE500 4x4 Embroidery Machine With 70 Built-in Designs and 5 Fonts (Misc.)
Now that I've been living with this machine for a while, I'd warn people that unless they really never want to do anything but monogram towels and do small designs on bibs, this is NOT the machine for you. I've been regretting my decision to purchase this one ever since I started really using it a lot. The embroidery field is just too small. There are millions of wonderful "in the hoop" designs available, and guess what? You can't use even 1% of them with this machine. Save up and get at least the 770 instead, it has a 5x7 embroidery field which will allow you to do both longer names for personalization and much bigger designs. Plus you can do many of these adorable ITH projects with a 5x7.
Also, please note that you cannot embroider names without purchasing software. When I bought this, I thought that the fact that it came with several fonts meant I could do words - wrong. You need to purchase software to create a stitching program for the machine to follow. If you want to make your own designs, that requires an even more expensive bit of digitizing software.
The machine itself works well, but think hard about your intended projects before you grab this one.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Brother is manufactured poorly, December 22, 2012
This review is from: Brother PE500 4x4 Embroidery Machine With 70 Built-in Designs and 5 Fonts (Misc.)
After a single year of use, my wife's Brother quit working. I think it's a combination of the computer having a hard fault and the plastic construction that is prone to alignment issues. The long and short of it is Brother is a low quality product that I encourage all who are looking at it to avoid. Spending a little extra on a metal framed solid mounted internal assembly will give you many years of use, not one year. You will end up saving yourself the cost of the Brother in a year by purchasing a quality sewing machine now. This is the second Brother product that has failed us, the other was a serger. I cannot say enough about how disappointing this product line is.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super easy for beginners!, February 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Brother PE500 4x4 Embroidery Machine With 70 Built-in Designs and 5 Fonts (Misc.)
As soon as my package came in, I couldn't wait to get started! Pretty easy to set up, took about 10 minutes. If you know how to thread a regular sewing machine, you already know how to thread this one. Setting up the bobbin was easier than my sewing machine! Just drop it in and go! Then, all you gotta do is put some stabilizer and material in the hoop, snap it in, and watch it go! It was a lot easier than I thought it would be to transfer designs from my computer to the machine, just drag and drop and seconds later, the machine beeps and you see the design on the little screen. After testing out a couple names, I moved onto some bigger appliques. In about 2 hours, I had 5 designs done! I have NEVER used an embroidery machine before and after one day, I feel like a pro!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Christmas Present EVER!, December 30, 2013
This review is from: Brother PE500 4x4 Embroidery Machine With 70 Built-in Designs and 5 Fonts (Misc.)
My husband got this machine for me for Christmas. I have used it non stop the week since then.
It comes with all the things you need to start a project, however, somethings i have ordered or bought in the week since:

63 Brother Colors Embroidery Machine Thread
Brother SASTB24 Pacesetter Premium Tear-Away Pre-Cut Stabilizer, 24 Sheets
Brother PWB250 Prewound Embroidery Bobbin Thread 10 Piece, White
Temporary spray adhesive

The machine comes with 3 sheets of stabilizer, 4 bobbins, and 3 spools of thread (red, yellow, and blue).
Which is enough to do one project if you want it red, yellow and blue. (none of the preset patterns use this color combination).
Each project requires a sheet of stabilizer. It is cheaper to buy it by the yard then in the precut packs, but i have found that the projects i have used precut, vs by the yard require a little less fussing.
Most of the patterns use 4 or more colors. If your dying to use it right out of the box, the little heart is only 1 color.

Using this machine is simple! Several reviews say it is, but when i opened the manual i thought they were all lying. The manual makes it look harder then it is. Getting started is the toughest part. My first project was the Giving Bunny, a free project located on the Urbanthreads.com website. You download the project, connect your machine to your computer. the PE500 shows up as a removable drive. The drag and drop your project onto it. Super easy!
There is also a youtube video that walks you through a luggage tag project using the preset fonts.
Threading the upper thread and bobbin are pretty easy, i found a couple you tube videos on it that helped as well. Once you thread it once the little printed guides on the machine make perfect sense. I love that it threads the needle for you. 4x4 size is perfect for what i need which is cute little projects and to embroider things for doll clothes.
So far I am loving this machine! You can use any embroidery pattern that you can find as long as its in PES format and fits 4x4 size. If you try and load a pattern larger then 4x4 it will not show up on the machine.

You can not create your own patterns, that requires some sort of embroidery software. There are a couple free versions, but i haven't looked into them yet.
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33 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly simple, April 24, 2013
By 
Max Weeks (NORTHPORT, AL, US) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Brother PE500 4x4 Embroidery Machine With 70 Built-in Designs and 5 Fonts (Misc.)
I got this for my wife about 3 months ago and she loves it. We are brand new parents with a 6-month old and she was spending a fortune on monogram services. Neither one if us has any sewing experience either. We can't even thread a needle! That is before we got this machine. With about a day learning curve, we were monogramming and appliquéing everything in sight. Once you get a digitizing or monogram software (SewWhat Pro for us) its a breeze importing files to the machine. It literally pops the window up after connecting the USB cable, drag file into it, two button pushes later the machine is sewing.

The 4x4 is actually very useful for almost anything we do, and you can actually buy a bigger hoop that allows you to do longer projects (like 6in or something) without having to rehoop. The 4x4 is great for all the onesies and burp cloths and such. And she has now started doing the pocket tees and selling those. Many people have bragged on all the stuff we have done and said that it looks better than professional.

All in all, this machine is perfect for anybody just starting out. It is cheaper than almost anything out there and does its job perfectly. Once you figure out the little nuances of how to hoop and how to keep the extra fabric out of the way while it's doing its thing, it's a breeze. I'll post pics of stuff we have done. We will definitely be sticking with Brother when we upgrade in the future.
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