659 of 667 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2012
I owned this machine for several months by now, and its amazing.
As with any technological product (no matter if its a cellular or a sewing Machine) there's a learning curve for it. Do research, read manuals, ask around.
I did a ton of research before buying this particular model. It could sew and embroider. most of the machines just came with either 4x4 hoops or 4 x 4 and 5 x 7 hoops. the large hoop for large projects are a plus. and last but not least, the price range of it, compare to other brands that do the same was the selling point hundred of dollars less than the others. WOW.
- The sewing/embroidering part is big, yes BIG, making quilting or sewing big projects easier. But if you did a little research on this particular machine, you already knew it was big and that you will need ample space for it. When in sewing mode, its not bigger than any regular sewing machine, but with the embroidery arm attached this thing is huge, as to accommodate the big hoop that came with it.
Mine is sitting on a desk by itself and my regular sewing machine and serger are in another desk.
- Its very bright, which means that working on it is less of a task, more of a joy.
- Include most of the presser feet you might need to start any project right away. - A beautiful selections of stitches lost of stitches to task and embellish your fabric. its true, there are not hundreds of them, but there are plenty.
- making button hole is easier.
- Threading system helps those of us that struggle with needle eye :-)
-Right out of the box, it comes with a software that allows you to do a ton of embroidery designs included. the hoops, 4 x 4 and 6 x 10 were the most easy to install that I have tested. just snap on place and ready!
- there's a certain order to do things to avoid mistakes that are "user error", not machine related. and that's why there's a manual for it. manuals are your friends, READ THEM!
-it includes designs both small and big to be used right away and you can download more via internet
- it read all design formats: PES, HUS, DST, VP3, FHE, etc, although XXX is Singer native.
- Speed control, back up and forward stitch buttons, to customize your user time, as fast/sow as you want, back up to restitch or forward to skip ahead.
I do have cons, but all of the fixable.
- the spool stand that comes on the machine, its a common complain. i don't know what it is, but thread tends to tangle on the path, making for the breaking threads and needles. a thread stand behind the machine solve it. Or, as i heard from many users, putting the spool in a cup behind the machine works wonders.:-)
- it says to sew with the tension on "s" and embroider with it on "E". you will soon learn that you need to adapt this as tension relate to fabric and thickness of it. I embroider with it a little on top of the "E" and a little below the "S" for sewing.
- The software that comes with it is as simple as it gets. you can create sayings and re-size designs, change colors, and that's it. But again, i knew this. I knew that Singer sell additional software for it. ALL machines come with this type of software unless you buy them with a bundle. You want to do more? prepare to pay more.
Final thought: embroidery doesn't come cheap. Not even closed. Whether you want to create a small business or be creative around the house (my case) you are going to be buying LOTS and LOTS of stuffs: the special thread (I get mine here, poly Threadart brand, and Metro from their site.), stabilizers (all kinds: cut-away, tear-away, water soluble), needles, more designs, and if you want to be creative, additional software that will allow you to create or modify designs (I use Wilcom and Embird).
Need help? there is plenty of it on the web, including great support pages, forums and groups (I belong to 2 amazing ones on Facebook)
I love my XL-400 and will recommend it 100% to my friends or anybody willing to hear me. Sorry if other haven't had a great experience with I will advise to have patience and READ THE MANUAL! :-)
P.S. November 5th, 2012: I added a few pictures of projects I have completed with my XL-400. I have found out that some designs might look pretty but doesn't embroider as well as others. same thing for the type of thread, bobbin thread and stabilizers yo choose.
P.S. 2 January 11th, 2013: since people keep asking me and repeating their cons, I thought I add some points:
- You need a PC/laptop in order for this machine to embroider (not to sew)but you can use the software without the machine, after you turn it on and open the software, just turn the machine off and use the software.
- The included software is not an elegance program but instead of a tiny LCD screen you get a big one (as big as your laptop/PC screen) that let you work on your design right there.
- I have several machines and a serger (brother, viking and singer) and all of them have a small space for feet change, not just the embroidery machines, but the sewing also. and the XL-400 is the taller of them all (well, except for the quattro, but that a league of its own)
- It doesn't have speed bobbin control. I have never seen a machine with speed bobbin control. guess never need it, since all machine ideally come set to wind bobbin as tight as required.
- about the thread breaking, I did mention that (happens to me in my brothers also) and mentioned also the cup technique and the ease of a thread stand. I use it as 3/4 of the speed, never less, never more, never a problem. try a diff brand of thread. What work for me, might not work for you and vice-versa.
-The noise emitting from the machine, this I can not say anything since mine its not quiet but I don't find it THAT loud either ( inserting the bobbin upside down, since 15J bobbins have one side curve and the other straight, increase the sounds AND the breakage, but since it is user error, is fixable ;-)
- "DOES NOT INCLUDE AUTOMATIC THREAD CUTTER" no, really, it doesn't, it never said it did. get a tiny embroidery scissor, a curve scissor or a duck scissor. or all three! you can never have too many scissors.
- the hoops are flat and plastic. take care of them.
me? still in love with my machine...
P.S. 3 February 13, 2013: Apparently Amazon had a bad batch of these machines. They even put up a message that they were reviewing/revising the machines they had in stock.
Sorry for those that got one lemon machine.
I still hold unto my review of MY machine as an excellent one, worth getting it.
P.S. 4 April 6, 2014: still in love with my machine... adding a special note, although it only works with the includes size hoops, 4x4, 6x10, you can multi-hoop, meaning that you can do even larger designs. here is a pdf and a site with some info about it: sewingmachinesplus (dot)com/media/products/singer/Singerxl400/package/How-to-Multi-Hoop-Futura.pdf and jennys-sewing-studio (dot)com/index.php/product-lines/singer-futura-quartet/75-singer-futura-quartet/138-multi-hooping-with-the-singer-futura-quartet.html Amazon wont let me attach links but substitute (dot) for an actual dot and it should work! hope this help!
144 of 150 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2013
I upgraded from a smaller embroidery hoop machine to this one. I have had my hands full trying to learn about needles, material and different stabilizers. There is a learning curve to using this machine for embroidery. But that hard work is really paying off because this machine is able to do some fantastic things.
As a sewing machine, it is large and sturdy and I have no problems with it walking off the table from vibrations. It is able to sew through heavy materials with no difficulty and it is easy to change tensions, stitch patterns and adjust stitch length and width. I really enjoy being able to adjust the needle position to just the right place I want the want the seam. This is really handy for piecing quilt blocks since you can get the perfect quarter inch seam with ease.
The various stitch patterns make sewing and decorating garments and accessories fun and beautiful. Sleeves are easy too because of the free arm. Small items are surprisingly easy to maneuver to despite the largeness of the machine.
Quilting on this machine is a breeze due to the larger space. Although there is no walking foot included it can easily use any foot that is for a low shank machine. The exciting part is that you can use the embroidery machine to quilt with. There are many patterns you can use that are easy to download off the internet, as well as design your own. When my small quilt was finished I decided to embroider a medallion in the center of it, which was easy to do, it came out beautiful.
The embroidery on different materials is a little challenging. T-shirts especially. They do come out beautiful, once you learn how to do it. That does take a bit of work.
With the embroidery program you can use your computer to design patterns and appliques. There is quite a bit of learning involved to it, but the capabilities are amazing. There are several online groups dedicated to this machine and the many talented members are willing and able to offer help when you are facing any difficulties. If I were a beginner sewist, I think the challenges of using this machine would be much greater. Not impossible but certainly more difficult.
I am glad I upgraded to this machine despite all the hard work in learning how to use it. Every day it is getting easier to use. It is taking my abilities to the next level and I am able to produce things that I never thought possible. Without this machine that never would have happened.
183 of 195 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2012
Bought this machine despite all of the people who complained about it I love it it does many things my Viking machines did not do and it embroiders as well if not better than both of them. I spent thousands of dollars on both of them and less than eight hundred on this one and I believe I got the better deal on The XL 400. It works just as well has a bigger area for quilting , embroiders a bigger area, has needle up and down, sews by itself with out the foot pedal is extremely easy to use, I can use any format and do not need to use the Singer software can use most of the software out there With my Vikings I needed to buy their software and couldnt run the machine without it And there is much more good about this machine that I can't go into here If you have the opportunity to buy this machine do so Oh by the way I am a real person who quilts everyday and on the weekend I quilt all day long for two or three days and I use the embroidery function to quilt the quilts with many designs.
194 of 209 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2012
Let me begin with background to establish my experience and validity of this review. I have been sewing for 27 years - I have used Singer machines made in 1931 all the way through the 21st century. I make clothing, quilts, crafts, home accessories and household items, as well as alter/tailor those same items. I know how to repair basic malfunctions of a sewing machine. Embroidering is completely new to me. With that said here goes.
I purchased this machine because it has been 16 years (yes she said 16) since I have owned a NEW machine. All of my machines (9 of them) have been given to me by frustrated people who didn't have the time or inclination to be patient with this craft and their instrument to accomplish their objective - have fun sewing. For me, after two months of ownership, this is a GREAT machine. I needed a machine that would do basic stitching, buttonholes, give me a large quilting area and now embroidering. Because I am new to this piece, I did not want to spend thousands of dollars on a machine to find out it was not for me.
As others have said, yes there is a learning curve. I am a computer geek, but this software is not so difficult that you cannot literally take the machine out of the box and sew. It is very very basic. I did months and months of research and knew that I was not getting all the preloaded software required to do more complex embroidery - again, i would rather pay as I go and learn. READ THE DANG MANUAL! It took me about 2 hours to read the manual, play around with different aspects of the funtionality. Took me about 1 hour to learn how to do basic embroidery. I think that is a fairly decent curve.
I have discovered that not all embroidery is equal. smaller designs mean slow down the speed or yes, the thread will break, the needle will jam, etc. Yes you have to use the right stabilizer - not all material is created equal. YES, you have to use the right needle - just like with regular sewing, the right size needle means more effective sewing with less trouble. I can only imagine the people complaining about thread breakage, jamming, etc. are not looking at ALL of the items that make for good output. Just like you can't sew jeans with a number 9 needle, you can't embroider a fabric with more stretch than a standard cotton with the same needle. Your thread will break. It's common sewing sense.
For whatever reason, yes occaisionally the software will say the hoop size is different than what you have - so what. You just click continue and it fixes itself. It does not mean you can't sew a beautiful design. This only happens to me on the basic installed software that came with the machine, not the Autopunch or Hyperfont. So am thinking it is a flaw in the software, not the machine.
As far as the stitching - the lines are consistent, evenly spaced, easily adjustable, and it is quiet. If i had issues embroidering where the stitches skipped or something puckered - that is operator error, due to sewing too fast, or not using the right stabilizer. If I fix me, the machine does what it is supposed to do.
Multihooping takes practice - again, not the fault of the machine, it is an operator error. READ THE DANG INSTRUCTIONS people.
LOVE LOVE the fact that it has a large hoop, means less multihooping generally needed.
One glitch i had, and not sure why, after using the reverse button, a clunking noise started happening. I ultimately opened up the bobbin hook, jiggled some stuff around, maneuvered the needle up and down and it corrected itself. I don't know why this happened except maybe i reversed back and forth to quickly and didn't give the machine time to catch up. It has not done it again but i will keep an eye out for it. This was the ONLY issue I have had that was maybe machine related.
The large opening has allowed me to quilt beautifully without all the struggle i have had with other machines that have a smaller area. this is a huge plus and one of the reasons i decided on this machine. Yes the machine is big, but I read the specifications before I purchased. Hmmm.. imagine that - reading about the product. Amazing things can happen if one reads stuff.
Overall, yes I would recommend this machine. Yes there is a learning curve, yes you have to be patient. But this can turn out beautiful products, and do all your basic sewing as well.
UPDATE FEB 7, 2013
Funny - I had a very negative comment under my review that disappeared. I was preparing to respond. Anyway, I have had this machine now for about 4.5 months. Maybe i have been lucky or more patient than others, this is still an excellent machine. I will say again, as I did before, when I do things out of order, or get impatient, the error messages show up on the machine. I have had not problem correcting/bypassing/ignoring them.
I have downloaded designs from various websites and have had no problem with the software accepting the ones I have chosen. My favorite so far has been embroiderydesigns.com. I have found that the quality of the end results depends a lot on: thread, stabilizer, speed, quality/age of needles. I would not expect this to be any different from any other machine although I cannot compare.
Some things I have learned:
1. thread breaking: this happened to me, i rethreaded, got the message again, rethreaded, again. etc. I am not afraid to open up the guts of a machine. What I learned, since this was new to me on the single thread through the enclosed top part of the machine, my thread broke and i pulled out what i thought was the remnant. However, there was a piece left inside. Therefore, the software/machine kept reading it as a thread break. Once i cleared it, I did not have the message again.
2. stupid clunking: this seems to be an enigma with the bobbin holder. Every once in awhile i have to unscrew the plate, pull out the bobbin, clean out the "rabbit fur" as my daughter calls it, put it all back, and it is fine. Small annoyance but I can move past that - the machine is super quiet when sewing a regular stitch, which I love. It also does fantastic general stitching overall.
3. Wrong hoop size: this is happening for me if I try to work the steps of embroidery for this machine out of order. But i can hit escape and it goes away. Trying to figure out how it does not go away, as people have complained and I can't make it stay there, so i really have no solution, although I was hoping to find a miracle answer.
4. YES! join the yahoo group! those folks have been at this longer than new owners and have figured out the quirks.
5. Invest in the software add ons in small bits at a time. This is critical. There is a learning curve with every piece of this machine software. Buy too much at once and you will be overwhelmed.
6. Design from scratch - this is what I love the most. I have been able to import graphics - from our church, clubs, etc. - and create beautiful designs to make as patches, logos, gifts. This has been the most surprising benefit for me, and so much fun for all in receipt of the end result. but this takes patience in editing and design. You can be a computer whiz, like some others have reported, but the design and function of THIS machine take a learning curve. I don't know how many times I can stress this fact.
I will update again, but for now, after an extended period of use, I have NO regrets about the purchase of this machine. I wish others could love it as much. Blessings for now!
190 of 210 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2013
I've been using sewing machines for most of my life. I own five machines. This is my second embroidery machine. My first and last Singer machine.
I ordered my machine on Dec 29th and received it on the 9th of January. I have the Brother SE 400 and was going to get the PE 700, but I was brought in by this ones hoop size. From the beginning it gave me problems. The tension was completely off, the only way I could get it to sew was putting the netting on the thread. I found this advice after scouring the internet seeing what was wrong with the machine. The machine would CONSTANTLY tell me the wrong hoop was attached. I'd have to start up and restart the machine several times before it would register the hoop. It would skip stitches. I was embroidering the SAME EXACT PATCH copy pasted four times, and it sewed them all VERY differently.
I e-mailed them. No response. It took me three business days to make it through Singer's customer service. THREE days. I was on hold for an hour and a half the third day (two hours the day before). The woman (who was very nice) gave me a laundry list of things to try. I went out and bought all new thread, all new bobbin thread. When I get home, I can't get the machine to start. It just incessantly beeps at me. After turning it off and on 20 times, it finally settles, but then I can't send anything to it.
I've been tweeting about my problems. Singer FINALLY gets in contact with me via Twitter asking me to send them a FB message with me problem. I do. They send me information to what they say is a manager. I send a video of what the machine is doing. I am again sent a laundry list of things to do. None of it works. I never hear from them again.
I have NEVER EVER dealt with such deplorable customer service in all my life. I am willing to accept that I received a faulty machine. It happens! I just wanted a replacement. It has been over a week since I last heard from Singer. I went ahead and ordered the Brother and am sending back this awful machine.
This is a very cautionary tale. If customer service means nothing to you, God speed and I hope you never have to contact them.
58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2013
I was hesitant to purchase this through Amazon due to the one other review which wasn't positive but I am so glad that I did!! I was going to purchase the Futura XL400 from a local store but realized that it didnt come with the Autopunch which I really wanted. The Autopunch software itself is almost $200 which put this machine in my range. After reading review after review I took a deep breath and hit the checkout button. The machine arrived in 2 days! I have had a great time working with it and couldn't be happier with my decision. It is easy to use and the only issue I have had is sometimes when I am sending an image to the machine the laptop says that it lost connection with the machine. I actually think it is my usb port on my laptop but it only takes a minute to shut off the machine and restart it. I have been impressed with the quality of the images and I can take pretty much anything off the internet and make it into a pattern. Very, very happy.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2014
Hi folks. I was reading all the reviews and decided to order this machine against all the negative reviews and the problems with the embroidery. So I received the machine yesterday and today started with all the preparing for working with the machine. I installed the software (make sure no cable is connected with the machine), put the embroidery table on and chose my design from the embroidery designs they come with the software. I took the manual and started on page 64 for embroidering. Step by step until I was on page 82. But nothing worked !!!!! The thread on the back of the fabric was a bird's nest, the software told me after a few stitches that the upper thread is broke (nothing was broke) and the design was a disaster. I tried over and over and I was already on the way to send the machine back. But then......... not the machine is the problem! The manual is the problem! The most important information about the machine and embroidering is not there where it should be !!!!!!!!!!!! When you go to page 106, you find this: 4. OTHER THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW. So when you read the chapter "FEED DOG CONTROL", you will see that there is the solution to all your problems !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The feed dog control should be raised for all general sewing and LOWERED FOR DARNING,FREEHAND EMBROIDERY AND MONOGRAMMING !!!!!! If you go like that, your machine will work absolutely error-free and perfect !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope it helps all the people with the same problems!
81 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2012
I purchased this machine for the larger embroidery field, having outgrown the four by four stitch field on my Brother SE-400. I really wanted to love this machine. Unfortunately, there were issues from the beginning. The thread never did feed correctly off the spool holder. It constantly gave me broken thread warnings when thread was not broken. The ten by six hoop could not hold the fabric firmly and could not be adjusted further. Several times the beginning thread was not even sewn into fabric. The stitch was not as pretty or neat as the stitch on my brother. I did the same small project on my brother as on the Singer in a stitch by stitch comparison, the Brother stitched the entire project without any problem, after one false start with the thread not sewing, three broken thread warnings, and some not so neat stitches on the Singer, I knew I wouldn't be keeping this machine. I will be returning this and ordering the Brother PE-770. I didn't mind the fact that the computer had to be connected to the sewing machine for it to run the software but did think the software was a little difficult and would take some time to learn.
Update on return: Sent request for return on Wednesday afternoon, Machine was picked up Thursday evening and my credit card account was credited by Monday morning. Once again, wonderful customer service from Amazon.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2013
I was shocked when I decided to add my review to see that Amazon pulled this fantastic machine. I, too, was concerned about the reviews I’d read here. However, my sewing machine repair-guru is a Singer guy, and he sold me on the plan to buy a Singer embroidery machine. I did several months of research (reading, watching tutorials, searching product reviews) before investing in this machine.
My husband was buying the machine as my Christmas gift. I saw it in the Amazon Warehouse for about $40 less than the regular price for a “like new” unit. We’ve had good luck with AW before, so we ordered it. I opened the machine box on Christmas Eve, but didn’t even turn it on for another 2 days because I wanted to be SURE I knew what I was doing. I turned it on, hooked it up to my computer, started playing and within minutes had several beautiful samples of embroidery (note: bought the HyperFont software with my machine, so I loaded it before I hooked the machine up). Unfortunately, I was missing some items that should have been included with the machine (several bobbins and the embroidery netting). My husband called Amazon, and they sent a replacement machine right away.
I got my new machine on January 2nd. And by new, I mean BRAND NEW. Amazon sent an unopened, not-from-the-warehouse machine without charging one extra cent. Again, I was a little worried… I’d been having such great success with the first machine. Would this one be a lemon? I must be incredibly lucky, because I haven’t had an issue with this machine either. So I packed up machine #1 and sent it back.
Last Friday, I added the AutoPunch software package to my machine. Again, I played with it, made several samples, tried new and different things. I’ve also added metallic embroidery to my repertoire (metallics can be difficult on ANY machine, so I did my homework).There is a huge learning curve to this machine. I’m using Coats & Clark and Madeira threads with good success. I have 2 sewing machines and a serger, so I’m using my Futura as a dedicated embroidery machine. I haven’t even attempted to sew with it. I’m still reading and watching tutorials. I have a nice little side-business that I’m building up doing personalization for friends at work and small businesses in my area. I’ve put hours and hours on this machine, and it’s working very well for me.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2013
I did quite a bit of research and shopping around before picking a new sewing machine. The machine worked perfectly after it arrived (the packaging was thorough). I've always used Singer sewing machines and this one shared a lot of same features with the other types of Singer machines I've had which made it intuitive for me, it just had some more buttons.
The standard sewing machine functions are excellent; it handled the variety of fabric types I threw at it and different threads. I had to play with the tension settings a little for some of the nylon threads, but that's not unusual. The preset stitch options are great and easy to set.
The embroidery function works very well also. It costs a lot less than the other embroidery machines that have the computer on board because the provided software enables your computer to talk to the Futura XL-550. I've embroidered images and letters. I'm very satisfied at the quality of embroidery. The software comes with a solid variety of text options, and it doesn't extremely limit your text size options (some of the mid level embroidery machines from other manufacturers don't let you embroider larger text until you're spending $5,000-$6000). The machine embroiders best at lower speeds, I use the higher speeds for straight line stitching. I've made different designs from pictures, the software makes it easy to take an image and convert it to an embroidery design to send to the machine by USB cable.
It helps to be familiar with computers and image editing to use the software. If you have that experience, use will be intuitive. However, the software includes a step by step guide to using the machine. There is also a slide show that shows every step to set up the machine for embroidery.
What I found annoying: No screw driver was included with the machine (but I had a small one from my previous machine). The thread is a little difficult to get through the guide before threading the needle because that area is crowded with machinery parts. The auto threader doesn't work very well. Sometimes I accidentally bump the buttons when I'm sewing (which is probably something that will stop as I get used to the layout). I don't consider any of the above very serious complaints.
What I liked: The stitches are very regular and even. The needle can be set to end in the up or down position. The bobbin winder is smooth and quick. The lights are bright, I feel very spoiled by them. Too many options and buttons to try.