Whether you’re an amateur, hobbyist, or seamstress-extraordinaire, having a sewing machine is essential. While there’s something soothing and special about hand-sewing, when you’re in the middle of a huge project and don’t have a moment to spare, sewing machines are critical. Hand-sewing simply can’t compete with the high-speed stitching that sewing machines offer, such as the Brother CE1100PRW.
There’s a common misconception that by using a sewing machine you may be sacrificing detail and precision. While the most basic sewing machines are only capable of doing a few stitches and their variations, many more are able to do fine needlework that will make you reevaluate everything you thought a sewing machine could do before.
For instance, some specialized sewing machines are made especially for embroidery and programmed with tons of patterns and styles—with more available for download online.
Which brings us to our next point—sewing machines have been brought into the digital age. So, if there’s a certain embroidery style that you have your eye on that your computerized sewing machine doesn’t have, you can download it quick and easy.
Not all sewing machines are created equally, however, nor is there one machine that is completely perfect for everyone. What you need to focus on, then, is finding the perfect sewing machine for you.
Below, we’ll be reviewing the Brother CE1100PRW so you can find out if this is the sewing machine of your dreams before gambling your purchase. It is our goal to provide you with as accurate and unbiased information as possible, so you can make the best decision for you come purchase time.
What is the Brother CE1100PRW and How Does it Work?
The Brother CE1100PRW is a computerized sewing machine, so it is able to download and learn new stitching styles through your purchase of them online. This is a lightweight sewing machine whose goal is to be easy to use while still providing professional features. It is a Project Runway Limited Edition product, so don’t delay if you have your eyes set on it.
This sewing machine is meant to last—Brother promises that it will serve you for many years down the line, whether you’re the type who just needs to mend something on occasion or you work with heavy garment construction on the regular.
Using the Brother CE1100PRW is simple. As its power is going, the needle will bob up and down, moving thread through the material so that it performs a series of rapid-fire stitches. The fabric will naturally be pushed forward, you just need to give it a steady guiding hand. You can select the kind of stitch to use simply through selecting it on the LCD screen.
What Makes the Brother CE1100PRW Unique?
As stated above, the Brother CE1100PRW is made with user-friendliness in mind. Like many modern sewing machines, it features an automatic needle threading system. This is a particularly useful feature that all users can take advantage of—those who’ve used older sewing machines can attest to how long and arduous a process threading the machine needle can be.
Also nice is the LED-lit work area—bright LED lights shine down on the frame of fabric you’re feeding through the machine so that you know exactly what you’re doing. No need to worry about any shadows or murky spots.
The design of the sewing machine also offers a free arm, ideal for sewing the cuffs of sleeves, hemlines, etc.
- 100 unique built-in stitches, including 8 styles of auto sized button holes and specialty decorative, quilting and heirloom stitches
- Simple to use, LCD display stitch selector Select your stitch and settings with the intuitive push button controls and then view your selections on the LCD display
- Advanced needle threading Let your sewing machine help take care of threading the needle for you Just touch the lever on the side and the CE1100PRW automatically pushes the thread right through the needle
- Super Easy bobbin winding Just follow the visual diagram printed on the machine to see exactly where to place the thread for the bobbin winding
- Easy to see superb right work area The brightly lit sewing area is especially useful when sewing on dark fabrics
The feed system of the machine works with the user for flawless seams. For starters, the design of the feed system makes it possible to sew through almost any fabric. It also utilizes 7-point feed dogs, creating a smooth and even feed of your fabrics. Lastly, it features a drop feed, which allows for free motion sewing and quilting.
Finally, the Brother CE1100PRW features a quick-set drop-in top bobbin that you shouldn’t have any problem using, even if you’re used to a side bobbin.
And now for the stitching styles. The Brother CE1100PRW offers over 100 built-in unique stitches, not including all of the slight variations for each one. It also offers eight styles of one-step auto-size buttonholes.
It should be noted that this is not an embroidery machine, so don’t expect and swirling patterns. These stitches can get pretty intricate and decorative, however.
If there’s a certain stitch that you’re just dying to use but that the Brother CE1100PRW doesn’t offer, never fear! This techy sewing machine has an internal computerized system that enables you to download different stitches online. Simply find the stitch you want on one of many sewing or embroidery websites, purchase, and download—now you’re ready to go.
Accessing and switching stitches is nice and easy. Simply use the LCD screen to scroll through your options, make your selection, and presto, your sewing machine is fully ready to start sewing the way you want it to.
Included with the Brother CE1100PRW are seven different accessory feet: zigzag, zipper, buttonhole, button sewing, overcasting, monogramming, and blind stitch.
It also comes with an accessory bag that holds a needle set, twin needles, a ballpoint needle. Further included are multiple bobbins and spool caps, along with a seam ripper, cleaning brush, extra spool pin, power cord, and screwdriver.
It also come with a detailed owner’s manual, so you know exactly how to operate your machine and get the most out of it.
Keep in mind that, just as with the stitches you can download online, there is a whole host of other accessories and products from Brother that are compatible with this sewing machine. So, if you’re in need of any different types of presser feet or anything else to enhance your sewing experience, you can always look into purchasing further accessories.
The Brother CE1100PRW comes with a 25-year limited warranty.
Pricing of Brother CE1100PRW
The most common place you can find the Brother CE1100PRW is at Walmart, either online or at your local store. Walmart also offers the sewing machine.
As with many things, you can also find this sewing machine on Amazon. This is not a brand-new product, however. The Brother CE1100PRW is only available on Amazon in a used, refurbished condition. This product has been certified refurbished by Brother, so it should still work just as good as new—just perhaps not for the same long lifetime as a new product.
All in all, this is on the cheap end as far as sewing machines go. Most standard sewing machines fall somewhere within the range of $100-$500, their prices usually depending on the advanced features and durability of the machines.
There are, of course, outliers. You may be able to find a miniature or very simplistic sewing machine for around $60 or under, while a truly sophisticated and heavy-duty machine can reach upwards into the thousands.
Public Perception of Brother CE1100PRW
Public perception of the Brother CE1100PRW is a little divided. Those in favor LOVE it. They say that it is extremely easy to use and they love the amount of design stitches that it comes preloaded with. They also love the pack of different presser feet that it comes with.
Those that aren’t in love with this sewing machine have a few reasons. Some state that it worked great at first, but then quickly declined. Others complain that it has tension issues that need to be continually fixed and that are difficult to do so.
It seems a tentative consensus among general users is that this is a good machine if you just need to mend or hem something on occasion, but not for a serious sewer.
Additionally, some say that it eats up delicate materials like knit fabrics. While it isn’t great with delicate fabrics, however, it’s great to use on tough ones such as leather and canvas.
How it Compares to Others
Now that we’ve taken a close look at all the Brother CE1100PRW has to offer and its public perception, let’s see how it stacks up against some other similarly priced sewing machines on the market. Below, we’ll be comparing the Brother CE1100PRW to the Janome 2212 and the Singer Heavy Duty 4423.
But first, here are a few general ratings of the Brother CE1100PRW to keep in mind as we conduct our comparison.
Like the Brother CE1100PRW, the Janome JW8100 is a lightweight sewing machine that doesn’t boast any bells or whistles that are too flashy. Both machines offer automatic needle threading and a free arm, greatly enhancing the machines’ ease of use.
- Computerized Sewing Machine with Easy Threading, Top Drop-In Bobbin and 7-Piece Feed Dog System
- 100 Built-In Stitches, 7 Auto Buttonhole Styles, Memorized Needle Up/Down, Interior Metal Frame
- Convenience Features like Start/Stop Button, Speed Control Slider, Locking Stitch Button, Reverse Lever
- Free Arm with Accessory Storage, Memory Function, Adjustable Thread Tension
- Bonus Accessories: Extra-Wide Extension Table, Hard-Sided Dust Cover, Even Feed Foot, Quarter Inch Foot
The Janome JW8100 is even more simplistic than the Brother CE1100PRW. While the Brother sewing machine offers 100 different stitches, the Janome JW8100 offers only 12 in addition to a four-step buttonhole. The Janome JW8100 does not have a computerized system, so you can’t download any additional stitches.
Because of the fewer stitches offered and lack of computerized system, the Janome JW8100 does not have an LCD screen. Rather, to switch between stitches you simply must turn a dial to the appropriate position. This function may be low-tech, but it is simple and user-friendly, ideal for a casual or beginner sewer.
Like the Brother model, this Janome sewing machine does use presser feet, and it comes with four different types. It also offers a built-in thread cutter, so there’s no need to go off looking for misplaced scissors.
Public reception of this sewing machine is overall very positive. Users don’t get this machine for any advanced features, but rather for usability and durability—aspects that the Janome JW8100 doesn’t fail to bring to the table. This is overall a great machine for beginners or for those who only intend it to do simple jobs. It is durable and will last.
Singer Heavy Duty 4423
- SINGER HEAVY DUTY SEWING MACHINE: The 23 built-in stitches including basic, stretch, decorative, and buttonhole stitches allow you to sew a variety of projects, such as fashions, home décor, quilts, crafts, and more
- AUTOMATIC NEEDLE THREADER SEWING MACHINE: After following the threading path printed right on the machine, this built-in feature helps you to effortlessly thread the eye of the needle without eye strain or frustration
- HIGH-SPEED SEWING MACHINE:The Singer 4423 Sewing Machine has a maximum sewing speed of 1, 100 stitches-per-minute, so projects can be sewn quickly. The 60% Stronger Motor provides greater piercing power for thick seams
- HEAVY DUTY METAL FRAME: The Singer 4423 heavy duty sewing machine is a true workhorse. With a heavy-duty metal interior frame, stainless steel bedframe, extra-high sewing speed and powerful motor, this sewing machine can sew through a variety of heavy weight fabrics and provides long lasting stability
- SEWING MACHINE ACCESSORIES: A variety of accessories are included with All-purpose foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, seam ripper/lint brush, quilting guide, needles, bobbins, screwdriver, auxiliary spool pin, spool pin felt are all conveniently located and stored in the accessory tray. A soft-sided dust cover is also included in the packaging
The Brother CE1100PRW and the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 are both similarly priced sewing machines, but the Singer machine doesn’t offer the same computerized system as the Brother product. Both machines offer automatic needle threading capabilities and a variety of stitches and accessories.
The Singer Heavy Duty 4423 does not come close to matching the Brother CE1100PRW’s 100 different stitches, instead offering a collection of 23. This collection included basic, stretch, decorative, and buttonhole stitches.
The Singer Heavy Duty 4423 is just as it sounds: heavy duty. This durable sewing machine has a strong metal body and a strong motor to pierce any kind of fabric. This is not a machine meant only for the occasional hemming or mending, but is instead geared toward garment-creation, quilting, home décor, and other creative crafts.
It can stitch at a rate of up to 1,1100 stitches per minute, hundreds of stitches faster than most machines in this price range.
Users of the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 have given it overwhelmingly positive praise. They love its durable nature, stating that it can stitch beautifully through anything they throw at it. A few people do complain that the presser feet are a little too sensitive, but this is an easy fix and an issue that is easy to ignore for the low price.
Proponents of the product strongly suggest that you actually read the included manual, asserting that any problems that may arise are simply from being uninformed as to its proper use.
Tips to Help You Purchase the Perfect Sewing Machine
When you have become an experienced sewer over time, you'll automatically know which stitches work best with your style. Moving up to a better machine with more stitch options and features is usually a good idea once you're an expert!
1. What is Your Budget?
When deciding on what budget to set when purchasing a sewing machine, the best thing you can do is always to choose quality over fancy and tempting features. Naturally, the quality will be determined by your budget, and this factor ultimately determines the features that are in your scope of purchase. Don't throw away the possibility of great features just because you have a smaller budget.
Let's start with those who have a fairly small budget. The best thing a person can do with this is to look for a good deal on a great used machine. Some ways to do this are by using marketplace apps, as well as resell apps. You can also find a dealer who welcomes trade-ins. They will likely have fixed any issues with the machine, and usually, they give you a small warranty and a tutorial on how to use the machine.
There are other options to check out that can help adjust to your budget. Nowadays, there are many sewing machine manufacturers are making suitable machines that are cost-friendly. The only thing you need to keep in mind with their machines is that they are lightweight (which could be a good or a bad thing) and since they are cheaper, many of the products used are made from plastic material.
Because you're getting such a good deal, it is likely that if a part breaks, you won't be able to get the machine fixed. Look into warranties for these companies, as you could get lucky! You may be able to luck up and find some high quality, low-cost machines. The key with these is to take great care of them if you are wanting them to serve you for a long time.
2. Is it Mechanical or Computerized?
All sewing machines will have a needle that goes up and down. How well a sewing machine does its main job has a lot to do with how the machine is created inside.
Mechanical machines are simpler and usually easier to operate. On that same note, they are usually not as heavy because they don’t have a computer inside of them. If you know anything about computers, you know that can glitch and have tons of random issues. Mechanical machines need a lot less maintenance because they won't glitch (and less money fixing computer issues). If your sewing machine is kept clean and oiled, it can be used for a long time. All these factors make a mechanical machine a great choice for someone in the market on a budget.
A computerized, well cared for sewing machine will sew a gorgeous straight stitch every time. All high-end machines are computerized, but this happens at a variety of different levels. Having a computerized machine simplifies stitch selection, length, buttonholes, and programmable stitch sequences. Computerized machines will give you the ability to touch the screen settings.
One of the benefits of a computerized machine is the motor. Because computerized machines are usually more pricy, they tend to have powerful motors that are ideal for heavy-duty projects. On top of being a bit costly, keep in mind that a computerized sewing machine will need regular service by a professional.
Never fear, there is a third option and that’s a machine that is considered electronic. It’s a duo mechanical and computerized machine. You will usually get a computer screen, but the machine will be mechanical as far as the make. When they are taken care of, these machines are worry-free for the most part.
An electronic sewing kit will usually include stitch selection, needle up/down, needle position, and a thread cutter, as well as a good middle price between the two other types. These machines have a pretty good selection of stitches and they usually sew straight and very gracefully.
3. Choose Your Stitches
This is a vital sewing question that is complicated and can be hard to answer. Once your budget is confirmed, you can start finding some of the stitching features that you’d like to have on your machine. The first decision to address is the number of stitches accessible on each machine you're looking at.
The key is not to be lured in by the amount of stitch options, but instead to choose a machine that has stitches you use and enjoy, or want to use and enjoy.
When you really think about it, the two main stitches you need to sew are A Straight Stitch and a ZigZag Stitch. Pretty much all sewing can be done well with either of these stitches. But most sewers love to experiment and make fancy stitches. There are a few stitches that make sewing more fun.
There are a few important things to think about when you are buying a sewing machine. We will walk you through how to buy one with the perfect stitch options for you!
Straight Stitch: The straight stitch should be adjustable as well as able to lock, The ability to adjust the length of the stitch will give you more sewing options, so it is important to look for machines with this feature.
ZigZag Stitch: The zigzag stitch is a basic one, as mentioned before. It should adjust the width and length.
Utility Stitches: Pretty much any machine you get will have a few of these. They are great for fastening seams and are also very pretty, so they can be used for decorative purposes as well.
Picking the stitch features you love is quite a task, but it is a worthwhile endeavor. Even more so, picking the sewing machine of your dreams is a weighty decision, but it will change everything about how you sew and how much you enjoy doing it.
What We Think Brother CE1100PRW
When all is said and done, what do we think of the Brother CE1100PRW?
For its price, it includes an astounding number of different types of stitches that are great if you are a creative or experimental sewer. The computerized system makes it easy to introduce new stitch types to the machine. Computerized systems can, unfortunately, lead to a shorter life of a sewing machine, especially when it is a cheaper model.
The Brother CE1100PRW has many proponents, but there are still more that complain of its overall functionality. Still, if you’re only a casual sewer who also wants the freedom to explore a variety of stitches, this sewing machine is a pretty good bargain.