Embroidery is becoming an increasingly popular hobby and side hustle for many. For those that want to get started, we know how difficult it is to find the right machine that will allow you to get into embroidery without totally breaking the bank.
If you are starting off in the world of embroidery you definitely want to know about the Brother PE800. It’s a top seller for Brother and a top seller in the (more) affordable embroidery machines category.
It offers you a computerized embroidery machine with a large, color LCD touch screen that gives a realistic preview of your design before starting to embroider. All this, and at an entry-level price point for a good quality embroidery machine.
That said, this model is a smart choice for the beginner home embroiderers that wants a user-friendly and versatile dedicated embroidery machine that he/she can grow with over time.
Okay, so what features does the Brother PE800 have? How much will it set you back in terms of price? What digital capabilities does it have that will make you not only a proficient embroiderer, but will give everything you need to create polished, professional looking designs?
We’ll answer all these questions in an in-depth review of the Brother PE800. We’ll cover the technology, capabilities, pros and cons.
Brother PE800 Review
|Dimensions||17.5 x 9.5 x 11.8|
|Embroidery field||5 x 7|
|Maximum stitching speed||650 stitches per minute|
|Built-in designs||138 designs (10 frame shapes, 14 border styles, 11 fonts – 7 English, 3 Japanese, 1 Cyrillic)|
|Control panel||LCD color touchscreen (3.2 x 1.8 in)|
What Comes With the Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine?
- Embroidery machine and power cord
- Embroidery foot and 5 x 7 embroidery hoop
- Embroidery bobbins, bobbin cover and thread
- Needle set
- Accessories: 4 bobbins, screwdriver, 4 spool caps (mini, small, medium and large), spool net, scissors, cleaning brush, seam ripper
- Accessory bag
- Dust cover
- Manual in English and Spanish
- Large 5 x7 hoop / embroidery field accommodates larger designs than the standard 4 x 4 field area of other models
- Affordable price for a best selling machine
- Lots of built-in designs and fonts make it great for customizing and creativity
- Although its considered “affordable” for an embroidery machine, it’s still pricey!
- This is an embroidery only machine so if you want a combo, it’s best to consider something else
The Capabilities of the Brother PE800
First and foremost, the Brother PE800 is a dedicated embroidery machine (vs an embroidery and sewing machine combo).
It’s a great option to consider if you want to get into embroidery only, or if you want to purchase an additional machine alongside a sewing machine you already have.
If you are looking for your first sewing machine and want the ability to make alternations or mend garments AND embroider, you may want to consider an embroidery and sewing combo machine. If this sounds like a good option to you, check out our recommendations for great embroidery machines by Brother which include both types.
Now we’ve covered what you can’t do on the Brother PE800, let’s look at what you can do. First off, we’ll look at the embroidery capabilities.
Technology Features: LCD Color Touch Screen & USB Port
The Brother PE800 has a large (3.2 inches), LCD color touch screen that allows you to see a realistic preview of your design before starting to embroider it on to fabric. You can also view step-by-step tutorials on directly on the LCD screen. This makes it easy to learn a lot about your machine – from how to thread it to how to attach the embroidery arm. It’s also nice to have this feature as a reminder if you need a handy refresher.
The touch screen will be the way to choose and modify designs. You can use the editing features to rotate, flip, resize, modify colors, add monograms, and combine shapes or patterns, making it simple to create customized designs and personalized looks.
Another bit of tech magic is the Brother PE800’s USB port. You can import embroidery designs purchased or downloaded elsewhere and upload it right into your machine, stored for future use in the built-in memory.
Beginner-Friendly Features: Easy to Use, Easy to Correct
The PE800 is user-friendly and easy to thread. The machine has a numbered threading diagram printed on the it and an automatic needle threader. Small yet important details that save time and frustration. Just follow the step by step instructions and the machine will push the thread right through the needle for you.
Another feature I appreciate is the machine’s ability to go back and correct mistakes. If your hoop slips for some reason or the thread breaks, you don’t have to start over. The machine has the ability to move the needle back (or forwards for that matter) in increments of 1, 10 or 100 stitches to go back and correct the error. Very useful feature, especially for beginners.
What Designs Can You Embroider?
The Brother PE800 comes with 138 built-in designs so you can get creative right away. These designs include scrollwork, floral, and quilt patterns. You also get 10 frame shapes and 14 styles for the borders of your designs.
You also get 11 built-in fonts for monogramming and lettering. Seven are in English, 3 in Japanese in addition to a Cyrillic font (a writing system used in languages of Europe and Asia). Of course, if you want additional ones, you can obtain them separately and upload via USB port.
To access any pattern, simply bring it up on the LCD screen. Edit to your heart’s delight, preview your design and when you are satisfied with your artwork, start embroidering!
If you are looking for a specific design, want to use a custom logo or pattern, you can always upload it to your machine via USB port. There are lots of free and for sales embroidery designs on the market so your opportunities for creative embroidery are endless. There is even digitizing software you can use to create your very own designs.
Can You Monogram?
Monograms are designs created by overlapping letters or combing symbols. It’s can be fun or beautiful depending on the design you choose. Whatever the style, its a great way to personalize fabric – from lunch bags or team shirts to baby blankets. This Brother PE800 is great for monogramming.
You can also use lettering to spell out any word in a variety of different fonts. This is a fun way to apply messages to fabric in a visually appealing way.
In terms of creativity, there is nothing that you can’t do with this embroidery machine. If you want to start personalizing your own clothing with small monograms and little patterns around it or just create your own unique design, then this is the perfect machine for you.
Can You Set Up This Machine Easily?
This machine has been purpose-built for an easy setup, as Brother knows that it is a popular pick amongst first-time embroiderers. It comes with a easy-to-understand manual that has clear instructions regarding the placement of the needle and how to avoid injury.
Also, if you don’t fancy wading through pages and pages of instructions (no, neither do we!) then you can simply follow the tutorials on the screen of your LCD. We know that not all people learn in the same way and with embroidery learning on the job is a valid way of getting better.
It comes with a Brother Quick-set technology that will make loading the bobbin pin very simple, so you won’t have to be an expert to attach this very easy pin to the housing of the machine itself.
Plus, you can also scour the internet beforehand, which has plenty of Youtube guides to help you get started with embroidering on this machine.
Does It Come With Embroidery Hoops?
One of the essential accessories in an embroidery machine is the embroidery hoop. This is an essential part of embroidery, as it helps to keep the fabric nice and taut as you work your pattern into it.
This Brother model comes with a 5 x 7-inch hoop, which accommodates fairly large designs (and is a step up from the standard 4×4 embroidery field that comes with many machines). This is an ideal size to combine imagery with lettering – lots of room for creative work. The larger hoop size reduces your need to reboot to accommodate larger designs. (Many people go with the less expensive embroidery machines (which usually have a 4 x 4 hoop) to start and quickly wish to size up to a larger embroidery field. If you think you’ll get really into embroidery, consider going with the larger option if you can.)
The first thing to remember, regardless of what fabric that you’ll be wanting to use, is that you should have something to stabilize the top or the back. This will ensure that the pattern won’t slip or become lopsided as you work.
You’ll read all about this in the user manuals and pretty much any tutorial you watch. So, for now, just know that when it comes to embroidery you need to consider stabilizing fabric in addition to the fabric you will be embroidering.
This machine can embroidery on fabrics less than 3 mm so you have lot of options but need to be mindful of trying to embodies over thick fabrics and layers.
Okay, with threads you can be less flexible. If you are embroidering, then you must remember to use embroidering thread, not regular sewing thread. If you want to find a great embroidery thread, we would recommend that you look for polyester, as it is durable and pliable to the needle.
If you have high-quality embroidery thread, then you can guarantee yourself a lot more success in the early days of your embroidery. The only downside to having the best thread is that it costs more, but if you pay for quality, then you get a result at the end that won’t fray or disintegrate later.
You’ll want an embroidery thread that is thick and can withstand the test of time, especially if you plan on wearing your embroidered shirt or coat in all weathers.
If you are thinking of spending less on a lighter weight, then beware: these threads can break a lot easier, especially when subjected to the intense embroidery regime that this machine will put you up to. This will also depend on the fabric that you’re grafting your material onto.
What’s the Difference Between the PE800 vs PE770?
The Brother PE800 has a few distinguishing features as compared to the PE770. It boasts a large, LCD color touch screen (vs. the monochromatic, backlit screen on the PE770). The PE800 has a 5 x 7 hoop which provides a larger embroidery field than the PE770’s 4 x 4 hoop. Finally, the PE800 provides a realistic preview of the design before you start stitching which is an incredibly useful feature for designers to check their work before putting needle to fabric.
All in all we love the upgraded features.
The Finishing Touches (a.k.a Our Final Thoughts)
The Brother PE800 is an ideal choice for a first embroidery machine. It is user friendly to help beginners get started right away AND comes with enough features and designs to provide room to grow.
If you want a machine for a home business or for a hobby, the Brother PE800 is certainly worth your consideration. Check it out here, and as always, happy