Top positive review
1,006 people found this 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!
P.S. 5 February 26,2016: yes, still in love with my machine. Running like the first day. But do keep in mind that for this machine, or any machine, regular maintenance checkups and cleaning is a must. Do as the manual says, keep it clean, covered when not in use, regularly change needles, and use the appropriate one according to the fabric and project - you can always revert to e regular one- since this will impact in the finished design; if you have thread breakages, check for loose pieces within the machines to avoid future entanglements. Check for warped hoops, avoid the embroidery arm bumping with anything, replace a crack bobbin, and keep the bobbin area lint free, do a visual check on parts, like the needle plate, as a bend needle migh hit this and brake (or worse damage your project or flight straight to you!). Replace threads if they are old as they tend to dry and brake easily. If, by any circumstances, you need to remove a part whether is to check something or retrieve a fallen needle or thread, please pay attention so you can install everything back to the right place.
* am I missing anything else? Hope not...*