Are you new to sewing or just looking for a simple but versatile sewing and quilting machine? Then the Brother HC1850 may just be the right fit for you, and we’ll tell you why.
The HC1850 has numerous stitches (both built-in and alphanumeric) and comes with a comprehensive manual so that newbies don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices.
We will be going over the pros, cons, and different features of the Brother HC1850 and analyzing whether it’s suitable for quilting and embroidery. Additionally, we will also inspect the different stitches and presser feet this machine has, and try to help you conclude whether this is the right sewing machine for you!
Features and Specifications of the Brother HC1850
There are a lot of features to talk about, so before we dive into the in-depth review, let’s look at some of the specifications of the Brother HC1850.
- Weight: 10.14 lbs
- Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.5 x 15.2 inches
- Power Source: Treadle Powered
- Electric: Yes
- Stitches: 185 (130 built-in, 55 alphanumeric)
- Included Presser Feet: 8
- Maximum Sewing Speed: 850 Stitches Per Minute
- Warranty: 25 years
This lightweight machine has a built-in free arm alongside the aforementioned features. It also comes with a detachable wide table and an optional foot controller. Now that you know the basic features of the Brother HC1850, we can move on with the full-length review.
Sewing with the Brother HC1850
As mentioned above, the Brother HC1850 has 130 built-in stitches and 55 alphanumeric ones. The built-in stitches can serve a variety of purposes, from quilting to constructing garments to creating buttonholes, etc., while the alphanumeric ones will help you with basic monogramming.
You may be pleased to discover the numerous kinds of built-in stitches that this machine has. There are 42 garment-construction stitches, 14 built-in quilt functions, 94 decorative stitch functions, and 12 heirloom stitch functions. This means you can work on a multitude of projects. These can range from everyday garments to special decorative heirloom quilts.
The built-in free arm will also help you navigate through a bunch of sewing projects. You have to remove the accessory storage space to access the arm. This is a useful feature when sewing round garment components like sleeves or pant legs.
We also think the LED light is a fantastic addition. This can help you with sewing precise stitches on dark fabrics and you won’t have to worry about your shadow. The backlit LCD display screen is also instrumental for seeing your selection of stitches clearly.
An additional thing to note is that if you are working on very thick pieces of cloth such as leather or denim, you may run into some trouble. The Brother HC1850 works perfectly on thin leather and denim but thicker fabrics are going to be a problem. If your sewing projects require you to work with dense material you need to look at different needle and thread options because you don’t want to accidentally end up damaging your machine!
Included Feet Accessories in the Brother HC1850
There are 8 presser feet included in this machine, with labels on each one so that you know which one is which. To operate or change between the presser feet, all you have to do is press the lever.
When you know which particular presser foot you want, select the letter on the LCD screen that corresponds to it and install it.
- Zigzag Foot: This is the most versatile presser foot, which is used for everyday quilting and embroidery. Helpful for both straight and zigzag patterned stitches.
- Blind Stitch Foot: The blind stitch foot helps you sew blind hems on your garments. You can use it for stitching invisible hems onto sleeves for instance.
- Zipper Foot: Sewing a project that requires zippers to be sewed on? You can use the zipper foot for perfect zipper attachments.
- Buttonhole Foot: This lets you create buttonholes as per your need. It also ensures that all the buttonholes in your project are of the same size.
- Button Sewing Foot: The button sewing foot will help you sew on buttons as required.
- Overcasting Foot: You can use the overcasting foot to stop frayed edges from appearing in your fabric.
- Monogramming Foot: This can be used along with the monogramming fonts to create beautiful decorative stitches.
- Spring Action Quilting Foot: The perfect accessory for free-motion quilting.
What are Some Automated and Manual Features of the Brother HC1850
Automatic Needle Threader
You will be happy to know that the Brother HC1850 boasts an automatic needle threader. This will change your sewing experience as you won’t have to manually thread the needle by hand. The needle threader is controlled by a lever. All you have to do is press the lever and it’ll push your thread into the needle’s eye.
Automatic Bobbin Winding System
There is also an automatic bobbin winding system and drop feed. This quick-set, top-drop bobbin is made specifically to improve the machine’s user experience. All you have to do to start sewing is drop your bobbin and pull the thread.
Manually Adjusted Tension
You should note that the thread tension is not an automated feature – you need to manually adjust it. The thread-cutter is located on the left of the machine and is easy to operate. An additional feature of the Brother HC1850 is the adjustable sewing speed. All you have to do is use the stitch speed slide control.
Can I embroider with the Brother HC1850?
If you are looking for a sewing and embroidery machine you must note that this machine’s monogramming capabilities are very limited. The HC1850 is not an embroidery machine. The Brother HC1850 is designed for sewing and quilting.
There is only one built-in monogramming font. There are 55 alphanumeric stitches which include letters, numbers, and some basic symbols. We do think that you can make successful forays into some basic monogramming projects. However, you won’t be able to load designs and stitch them. That said, the monogramming capabilities are a nice touch because you can stitch your name and date onto your creations, an especially great option for family heirlooms.
On a personal note, my mom stitched my kiddos’ names onto each quilt she made for them which added a special, customized element – with no need for a separate embroidery machine.
What is Quilting Like with the Brother HC1850?
There are some fantastic features in this machine that make it suitable for quilting. Quilters particularly enjoy the spring action quilting foot. This allows for free-motion quilting and the detachable wide table to work on is a cherry on top.
We have also described the different built-in stitches that are available. This will make your quilting experience special because you will have plenty of beautiful stitch designs to choose from. Whether you enjoy quilting heirlooms or making small decorative garments, you will have a wonderful time with the Brother HC1850.
While this machine does come with the spring action quilting foot you can also purchase additional feet. For instance, an additional walking foot can really enhance your quilting experience.
Is the Brother HC1850 Good for Beginners?
We think a massive advantage of the Brother HC1850 is that it not only comes with a detailed instruction manual but also a DVD. These can walk you through the process of getting started with this machine. And, YouTube – tons of tutorials and resources there.
If you are a complete beginner, this machine is worth considering. It’s got everything you need to get started and even more as you gain experience and confidence. It’s a good option “to grow with.” You may want to purchase some additional essentials before you get started. For instance, a protective case for your sewing machine and extra Brother bobbins will prove to be very useful.
There is a wide range of features already built into this machine. The bulk of stitches to choose from could be more suited for intermediate users. However, we don’t think the array of options should deter beginner quilters. If anything, this machine provides you the opportunity of undertaking a plethora of sewing and quilting projects!
What are Some Disadvantages of the Brother HC1850 Sewing and Quilting Machine?
Limited Monogramming Capacity: We’ve already covered the Brother HC1850’s lack of monogramming capacity. If you are looking for a full-time embroidery machine sadly this is not for you. Additionally, you will run into trouble when trying to work with very thick pieces of garments.
Noise Issues: Another thing to consider would be the noise. Since it’s sewing at 850 stitches per minute the machine does make a bit of a racket.
LED Light Could Be Brighter: The last setback we could think of is the brightness of the LED lights. Of course, this is a subjective preference but we still wanted to mention it.
Comparing the Brother HC1850 with Other Sewing and Quilting Machines
If you are considering buying a quilting machine we assume you have also looked into other options. As a result of this, we are going to be comparing the Brother HC1850 with the beloved Brother CS6000i and CS7000i respectively.
Brother HC1850 vs Brother CS6000i
If we don’t count the 55 alphanumeric stitches on the HC1850, it still has 130 built-in stitches but the CS6000i only has 60. This is an obvious disadvantage because it puts a cap on the variety of projects you can work on. Additionally, the HC1850 has 8 automatic buttonhole stitches and the CS6000i has 7.
The CS6000i is usually more affordable than the HC1850. However, it also lacks the monogramming feature. While the Brother HC1850 may not be the ideal embroidery machine, it still provides you with the opportunity of basic monogramming which the CS6000i cannot.
Both the machines are computerized and also have automatic needle threading and bobbin winding. However, the CS6000i has 9 presser feet compared to the HC1850’s 8.
We do think the HC1850 provides a wider range of options. We can’t deny that the machine is the more expensive one but we do think it has features that justify the slightly higher price tag.
Brother HC1850 vs Brother CS7000i
The Brother CS7000i is the upgraded version of the CS6000i. It comes with 70 built-in stitches. Despite the upgrade, the Brother HC1850 is still the clear winner in terms of variety because it does have the perk of having 60 more stitches.
Furthermore, the same problem with the lack of monogramming fonts still remains. This means your options with the Brother CS7000i are limited compared with the HC1850. If you love decorative stitching and quilting the latter is the superior of the two.
The CS7000i much like its predecessor is more affordable than the HC1850 but that affordability also means a lack of options.
The Brother HC1850 Review Finishing Touch
We think that quilters are highly likely to enjoy the freedom that comes with free-motion sewing and the spring action quilting foot.
The Brother HC1850 is a very versatile machine. Not only does it have hundreds of stitches you can choose from, but it also allows you to perform some basic monogramming functions on it.
The free arm and wide extension table are additional touches that elevate the user experience. Let’s not forget the numerous buttonhole stitches and presser feet. These extra features really make the Brother HC1850 worth the investment. Regardless of whether you are a beginner or an experienced quilter you are sure to enjoy the features of this machine.