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Sewing Machine Reviews: The Best Monogram Machine [January 2019]

If you are looking for your first sewing machine to monogram on things can get a little overwhelming to say the least.

In this post will teach you all about monogramming machines and what you need to look out for when buying a new machine.

I have also reviewed my top 5 best monogram machines. I have tried to do these reviews as unbiased as I can so you can understand all the things I love about each machine and even some things that I don't like so much. 

I hope this post helps you buy the perfect monogramming machine for your budget and sewing needs! 

The Best Monogram Machine of 2018 – Comparison Table

Brother PE770

The Brother PE770 Sewing Machine Review

Brother PE525

The Brother PE525 Sewing Machine

Brother LB6800PRW

The Brother LB6800PRW Sewing Machine

Brother DZ820E

The Brother DZ820E Sewing Machine

Brother CX155LA

The Brother CX155LA Sewung Machine
Threads Ready to be Put Into A Monogramming Machine


Key Things to Consider When Buying an Embroidery Sewing Machine

Deciding on investing in an embroidery sewing machine that will make your next creative project easier?

These are the key factors you need to consider before you make your purchase of a monogram machine:

  • User Friendliness: Whether your machine will be used frequently or occasionally, ease of use is an important factor to consider before you buy your first or your next embroidery machine. No matter how tech-savvy you are, a machine with a complex set of operations will only frustrate you and make you more reluctant to pursue your next creative project. Choose a machine which is user-friendly for both beginners and advanced users. The simpler, the better.
  • Extra Features: It is important to consider the extra features of an embroidery machine before you make the purchase. Almost all monogramming machines have built-in embroidery designs which include lettering and monogramming fonts. Try to look for machines with such features to save time and effort on your next creative project.
  • Price: Buying an embroidery machine is an investment but it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Depending on your personal preferences and the features you are looking for in your machine, you should find a machine that is pocket-friendly without compromising quality and features.

What Type of Monogramming Machine Suits Your Needs?

Depending on whether you already own a sewing machine or not, you have several options to consider before you make your purchase.

Is the machine you own a monogram-only machine?

Are you looking for a machine that only embroiders?

If your answer is yes, then you only have to purchase a new machine with the features you are looking for.

If you already have a sewing machine and you are looking to buy a new one, then you might want to purchase an embroidery machine that can also monogram.

With this type of machine, you can quilt, create, decorate and embellish just any type of fabric or work on any project without having to switch from one machine to another.

Beginners or designers on a shoestring budget can purchase a basic monogramming sewing machine which is easy to operate and has all the key features.

What is The Standard Price of Monogramming Machines?

The more advanced the features on your machines are, the more likely it is to be expensive. You can pay anything from $250 to $5000 for a domestic or commercial machine.

It’s advised that you compare prices and features before you finally make a purchase.

Dollar Sign Drawn in a Notebook

The Best Monogram Machine of 2018 – Individual Reviews

The Brother PE770

The Brother PE770 Sewing Machine

My Favourite Features of The Brother PE770

  • Expansive Embroidery Field: With a 5"" x 7"" work pad, the Brother PE770 allows for lettering and embroidery work on thicker and larger materials like bags and home décor items and is ideal for embroiderers who like to take on big creative projects.
  • Wide variety of designs: The Brother PE770 machine does not only come with a large library of monograms, the machine also has built-in fonts, appliques, florals, scrollwork and quilt patterns which provide designers with a variety of creative options to choose from.
  • Extensive design editing: This model offers embroiderers flexible design editing features including size edits, rotate and mirror-image. Designers can increase or decrease the size of designs and create custom designs based on personal preferences.
  • Built-in Memory: The PE770 machine offers embroiderers the opportunity to save their designs for future use. It has a USB port which makes it possible for designers to increase the machine’s in-built 136 designs to produce custom embroidery designs with excellent quality.
  • Light-weight and portable: Although, the Brother PE770 has a powerful and durable motor, the machine is still portable and easy to carry around, ideal for globe trotters who are also heavily into DIY crafts.

From the Manufacturer

Pros & Cons Of the Brother PE770

Pros

  • Versatility for beginners and intermediate designers: The Brother PE770 embroidery machine’s large library of fonts and designs allow a lot of flexibility and versatility for different creative projects.
  • Custom designs: The machine provides the opportunity to import new designs through a USB stick, this gives designers the choice to create custom designs.
  • Embroidery machine: Embroiderers who already own sewing machines will find the Brother PE770 as a perfect complement.
  • Built-in memory to save designs: Unlike other embroidery machines, the Brother PE770 has a built-in memory which makes it possible for designers to save custom designs for future use.
  • Needle threader: This function takes away the stress of wasting time on threading both the top thread and the bobbin.

Cons

  • Expensive: The Brother PE770 machine is a bit expensive as compared to other embroidery machines.
  • Incompatible with machines: The machine’s in-built USB function cannot be connected directly to the computer.
  • LCD screen: The machine’s large 2.7x1.4 back-lit display is a useful feature however, it takes a little bit of time for the new user to get used to it.
  • Lack of versatility: Advanced embroiders may find themselves limited with the machine’s only 5 lettering fonts.
  • Relatively difficult to learn its use: Basic things like learning to wind a bobbin, understand screen commands and load hoops can take a little bit of time.  

Overall Thoughts of The Brother PE770 Sewing Machine

The PE770 machine is for both beginner and advanced designers in search of a durable embroidery machine. The machine is designed with a large work pad which offers embroiderers the flexibility to work with large materials and designs.

The work pad also provides more space to rotate designs, use lettering and frames to create high-quality work. Additional features like the thread cutter for precise thread trimming and the built-in embroidery patterns and designs make working on creative projects easy.

The PE770 is durable, yet light-weight and portable. This means it is a great option for designers who are always on the move from workshop to workshop.

The machine is an excellent product overall and is well worth the investment.

The Brother PE770 Sewing Machine Review

The Brother PE525

The Brother PE525 Sewing Machine Review

My Favourite Features of The Brother PE525

  • Very Quiet Machine: The Brother PE525 machine has a powerful motor, yet there’s minimal distraction from the sound of the machine. This makes it an ideal choice for mothers who like to get their creative projects done while their little ones are asleep or when watching television in the evenings. 
  • USB port to import designs: Just like other Brother machines which offer the option to upgrade or add new stitch designs, the Brother PE525 machine also comes with an in-built USB port which allows designers to import designs from a USB stick. This is a simple process and one that is self explanatory for even the most un tech-savvy users out there. 
  • Pattern combinations and built-in embroidery designs: Not all embroidery machines can boast about a 120-frame pattern combination and 70 built-in embroidery designs. However, the PE525 machine can. This is great news for designers because they have a wide variety of designs and patterns to choose from.
  • Automatic needle threader: This function takes away the stress of spending time on threading needles and is especially useful when working on embroidery designs that require multiple thread changes.  
  • 25-year warranty and lifetime technical support: The Brother PE525 machine comes with a 25-year warranty and buyers have access to a lifetime technical support on the phone as long as the machine is in use.

From the Manufacturer

Pros and Cons of the Brother PE525

Pros

  • Easy threading: Embroiderers do not have to worry anymore about wasting time on threading as the machine makes it easy to thread the bobbin as well as the top thread.
  • User-friendly: The machine has modern features, yet, they are very straightforward and easy to learn & use. this makes it an ideal machine for both beginner and intermediate designers.
  • Back-lit LCD display: The fairly large, brightly lit LCD display allows designers to take a close look at their designs and edits on the work pad without any trouble or squinting. This is particularly good at night when the light is very low.
  • Custom designs: One of the great new features of the machines is it you to import new designs through a USB stick or hard drive. This gives designers the choice to easily create custom designs and import designs from friends.
  • Portable machine: Compared to other sewing and embroidery machines, the Brother PE525 is relatively easy to carry around. This is great for transporting between workspaces in the home or in the car to friends houses or other shared work spaces. 

Cons

  • Small embroidery area: The machine’s 4 inches by 4 inches work pad is not big enough for large projects.
  • Lack of versatility: The Brother PE525 does not give a lot of versatility in the choice of fonts.
  • Custom design restrictions: The USB stick only imports designs in.dst or pes format.
  • Embroidery machine: The Brother PE525 cannot sew, it only embroiders.
  • No stipple function: The PE525 machine does not offer the stipple function. 

Overall Thoughts of The Brother PE525 Sewing Machine

You will get great value with your money when you purchase the PE525 machine.

It is a very durable & affordable machine that comes with decent additional features that make embroidery easy and fun for both beginner and intermediate embroiderers.

The machine features a 4x4 embroidery field, 120-frame pattern combinations, 70 built-in embroidery designs as well as 5 font styles for monogramming and lettering.

In addition to these features, buyers are offered a 25-year warranty and lifetime technical support.

Overall it is a great machine that I would recommend for any user from beginner upwards who are looking for an easy to use and reliable embroidery machine.

The Brother PE525 Sewing Mahcine Review

The Brother LB6800PRW

The Brother LB6800PRW Sewing Machine

My Favourite Features of The Brother LB6800PRW

  • 4-inch-by-4 embroidery hoop: The machine comes with a 4-inch-by-4 embroidery area which is ideal for normal sized creative projects.
  • Computer connectivity: The Brother LB6800PRW machine allows designers to import designs from home PCs, Brother memory cards or designs purchased from websites such as iBroidery.com. This feature is pretty straightforward and easy for both beginner and intermediate designers. 
  • 25-year warranty and lifetime technical support: This multi-purpose machine comes with a 25-year warranty and buyers have access to a lifetime technical support on the phone as long as the machine is in use.
  • Combination of sewing, monogramming and embroidery functions: The LB6800PRW is a three-in-one machine. It sews, monograms and embroiders. This is a true dream machine for all designers especially, beginners who do not own any machine. 
  • 67 sewing stitches and 70 built-in embroidery designs: If you are a looking for a machine which offers a wide variety of sewing stitches and decorative designs, then the LB6800PRW machine is the perfect choice for you.

From the Manufacturer

Pros and Cons of the ​Brother LB6800PRW

Pros

  • Built-in pattern combinations: The machine does not only offer 70 built-in embroidery designs, but it also comes with a large library of pattern combinations for designers to choose from.
  • USB port to import designs: The Brother LB6800PRW machine also comes with an inbuilt USB port to allow designers to import designs from a USB stick.
  • Built-in-tutorials: Tutorials include basic things like how to position the thread spool and how to use the automatic bobbin winder. These are functions which beginner and even intermediate designers may struggle with.
  • Minimal distraction from the sound of the machine: Just like other Brother machines, there is minimal distraction from the sound of the machine when the machine is in use.
  • Rolling Carrying case: This is an extra bonus for buyers – a durable carrying case to protect your machine from scratches and damages.

Cons

  • Small embroidery area: The machine’s 4x4 embroidery field does not favor big creative projects.
  • Expensive: The machine is a bit expensive and will not be ideal for designers who are not willing to invest a lot of money.
  • Lack of customization: Designers can only make their own custom designs when they purchase the attachments for the machine.
  • Manual threader: Unlike other Brother machines, the LB6800PRW does not have an automatic threader but it does have a lever to aid manual threading.
  • Takes time to learn its use: The combination of sewing, monogramming and embroidery functions in the Brother LB6800PRW machine compels designers to put in some effort to learn its many features and master its use.

Overall Thoughts of The Brother LB6800PRW Sewing Machine

You will enjoy full versatility with the Brother LB6800PRW sewing machine.

Choose from the full range of 67 sewing stitches, 70 built-in decorative designs, 98 stitch functions, 5 lettering fonts, and 120 frame combinations and use the built-in USB port to import even more designs for your projects.

The 4x4 inch embroidery pad, although not too large, is the perfect size for working on materials such as dish towels, t-shirts, and napkins and supports a wide variety of other creative projects.

The machine includes built-in tutorials which designers can view on the back-lit screen touch LCD screen display.

It also comes with a comprehensive start guide as well as complete bilingual instructions manual in Spanish and English.

Overall it is a great machine that allows you to sew, monogram and embroidery. Perfect for the home seamstress.

The Brother LB6800PRW Sewing Machine Review

The Brother DZ820E

The Brother DZ820E Sewing Machine

My Favourite Features of The Brother DZ820E

  • Built-in designs: The Brother DZ820E machine comes with 136 built-in embroidery designs including 6 lettering fonts and 120 frame pattern combinations. This offers a wide variety of options for both beginner and advanced designers.
  • Extra embroidery hoops: Few machines have this feature. The Brother DZ820E comes with a 4x4 inch and 2.5x1 inch embroidery hoop. This feature makes it possible for designers to work on at least two completely different projects simultaneously.
  • Full set of designer accessories: Once a purchase is made, embroiders get an embroidery starter kit which includes everything a designer needs to start embroidering right away. The Starter kit includes extra bobbins, a high-quality steel embroidery scissors, a pack of fabric stabilizer, seam rippers, 6 spools of embroidery thread, needle set, cleaning brush, and two screwdrivers.
  • Embroidery Starter Kit: The DZ820E comes with an Embroidery Starter Kit that includes 6 spools of high quality embroidery thread, a pack of fabric stabilizer, extra bobbins, high quality steel embroidery scissors, plus more!
  • Automatic threading: The easy automatic needle threading function of the Brother DZ820E machine saves designers a lot of time while working.
  • View built-in tutorials and design editing features: On the machine’s back-lit LCD touch screen display, designers can view built-in tutorials to master the use of the machine. The Brother DZ820E machine can also be used to edit designs.

From the Manufacturer

Pros and Cons of the ​Brother DZ820E

Pros

  • Starter kit: A brand new Brother DZ820E machine comes with a complete starter kit with a set of designer accessories, pools of embroidery thread, bobbins, scissors, fabric stabilizer and 200 extra embroidery designs on a CD.
  • Expansive work area: The DZ820E machine’s 5” x 7” embroidery area gives designers the flexibility to work on large designs.
  • Drop-in bobbin: This feature ensures that your bobbin stays in place, regardless of how often you move your projects around the embroidery area and makes it possible to do even stitching.
  • Bright work area: It doesn’t matter how early or late you choose to work on your projects, the Brother DZ820E machine provides a brightly lit work area which makes it easy to see your work.
  • Memory function: The machine has great built-in memory. Designers can save their custom designs for future use. This feature comes in handy for making different things for the kids or saving your favourite designs for gifts. 

Cons

  • Embroidery only machine: This machine only embroiders. It does not sew, neither does it monogram.
  • Basic machine: Although its features make the machine ideal for beginners, advanced embroiderers may find it a bit restrictive.
  • Small work pad: The DZ820E is a little machine. Large sized projects may require a larger machine.
  • Difficulty in importing designs in other formats: The DZ820E machine only accepts designs in .pes format. Designs in other formats will require digitizing software to be converted to .pes. The software can be quite expensive.
  • Only usable in the US: Unfortunately for designers outside the USA, the machine is not a dual voltage and cannot be used in countries that do not support 120V AC.

Overall Thoughts of The Brother DZ820E Sewing Machine

The DZ820E was made for both beginner and intermediate designers.

It’s an embroidery only machine with a large library of built-in designs.

The machine comes with additional features like an expansive 5” x 7” work field, extra embroidery hoops, a built-in USB port, and a free starter kit.

The starter kit includes 6 spools of embroidery thread, seam rippers, extra bobbins, a pair of high-quality steel embroidery scissors, a pack of fabric stabilizer, needle set, cleaning brush, two screwdrivers as well as an extra set of embroidery hoops.

The extra set of embroidery hoops makes it possible to easily work on two completely different projects at the same time.

Overall it is a great entry level embroidery machine that won't let you down and will help you perfect your embroider skills. 

The Brother DZ820E Sewing Machine Review

The Brother CX155LA

The Brother CX155LA Sewing Machine

My Favourite Features of The Brother CX155LA

  • Large Workspace: The Brother CX155LA machine comes with a bright and oversized workspace which makes it great for larger creative projects like oversized quilts and window curtains. 
  • Easy stitch selection: Stitch selection on the Brother CX155LA is quite easy. You only have to touch a button on the machine and you are good to go.
  • Built-in designs: The machine has 100 built-in stitches plus 55 alphanumeric stitches to allow designers to also do basic monogramming.
  • Variable speed control and start/stop button: With this machine, you decide which speed to work on your projects. Designers can use the speed regulator to either go slow or fast. This makes it easy for beginners to work with the machine.
  • Included Accessory Feet: A brand new CX155LA does not only come with an accessory bag with needle set, twin needle, ballpoint needle, seam ripper, eyelet punch, etc. but it also comes with accessory feet including buttonhole foot, overcasting foot, zipper foot, monogramming foot, zigzag foot and many more.

From the Manufacturer

Pros and Cons of the ​Brother CX155LA

Pros

  • Professional and high-quality buttonholes: Not many machines have this feature. The CX155LA has 8 styles of one-step buttonholes with perfect sizes to fit every creative design.
  • Drop-in bobbin: This feature ensures that your bobbin stays in place, regardless of how often you move your projects around the embroidery area and makes it possible to do even stitching.
  • Bright work area: It doesn’t matter how early or late you choose to work on your projects, the CX155LA machine provides a brightly lit work area which makes it easy to see while you work.
  • Memory function: The machine has a built-in memory which makes it possible for designers to save their custom designs for future use.
  • Accessory bag: When you buy a brand new CX155LA and you will also have an accessory bag with a ballpoint needle, twin needle, needle set, seam ripper, screwdriver, an extra spool pin, cleaning brush, eyelet punch, bobbin clip, and an Instructional DVD.

Cons

  • Small monogram size: The machine comes with stitches to do basic monogramming but the size of the monograms you can create is fairly small.
  • No computer linkages: The CX155LA machine doesn’t come with a USB port so you cannot download anything to it. Everything is pre-programmed.
  • A limited number of fonts: The built-in font is a standard print type font. Its size can’t be changed, and the letters always print approximately ½ inch high. Users who want to do a lot with letters may find this a bit frustrating.
  • Difficulty in regulating tension: the machine does not come with auto tension control which makes it very hard to regulate tension.
  • Difficult finding a carrying case: Your brand new CX155LA machine will not come with a carrying case and finding one that fits its size perfectly can be a bit challenging.

Overall Thoughts of The Brother CX155LA Sewing Machine

The Brother CX155LA computerized sewing and quilting machine is a highly-recommended machine which all intermediate seamstresses and quilters would love.

Features like the easy stitch selection, variable speed control, bright work area, and the easy needle thread system are some of the functions which make the machine well worth the purchase.

The machine also includes 1 sewing font and 8 different styles of 1-step auto-sized buttonholes. It is durable, high-quality and yet, affordable machine.

The Brother CX155LA Sewing Machine Review

Should I buy a Used Embroidery Machine or a New One?

If factors like warranty, start-up supply, and accessories are important to you, then you might want to consider purchasing a brand-new machine. If not, a used but functional machine will be ideal for you, especially if you are also on a tight budget.

Embroidery-only machine or a combination model?

Modern combination model machines offer a variety of embroidery functions and can do a lot of basic embroidery works. If you are a complete beginner, consider buying this type of machine. It will cost you less and you will familiarize yourself with both functions.

What Size Monogramming Area/Hoop Suits Your Needs?

Before you purchase the machine you are so tempted to buy, take a close look at the monogramming area. A small workspace will not favor big projects, a bigger hoop on the other hand, will be appropriate for big designs. Depending on the size of the projects you will be working on, choose a machine with a small or big area.

How Does a Monogramming Machine Work?

Depending on their features, monogramming machines may work differently but the basic functions are the same. As a designer, you must first create your design and then, with the hoop you choose where you want your design to sit.

Why is There a Warning Against Monogramming?

The National Criminal Justice Reference Service warns against putting the name of your child on clothing and other personal items. This is because it makes the work of abductors easy. It’s therefore advised to personalize children’s clothes safely.

Applications of Monograms

Monograms make it easy to create custom designs on any hand-sewn design. They are used for both identification and styling purposes. Individuals like to put monograms on their belongings for identification and security. Businesses prefer using monograms to add a special personalized touch to their wares. 

Final Thoughts

I hope that in this post I was able to clear up some questions you had about monogramming, monogramming machines and gave you a good insight to some of my favourite monogramming machines. 

I wish you all the best on your sewing adventures!

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