This ain’t your grandma’s sewing machine — unless nana owns a ten-needle, $14,000 embroidery robot that blasts through complex designs like a thread-loaded AK-47.
Brother’s Entrepreneur Pro PR-1000, which follows in the footsteps of the impressive six-needle PR-650, is a serious machine at a serious price. But with the ability to hammer out 1,000 stitches per minute, the Entrepreneur Pro definitely ranks as one of the most badass crafting products on the market.
Despite its daunting appearance, the machine is surprisingly easy to use. So easy, in fact, that a craftless hack like myself could figure it out — or at least sort of figure it out. That’s mostly thanks to the intuitive technology built into the machine.
There’s a high-definition touch screen front and center. It displays easy-to-follow instructions that take you all the way from threading the first needle to embroidering your favorite dragon design onto the back of your jean jacket.
And if dragons — or any of the 110 images that come pre-loaded on the machine — aren’t your thing, you can upload an image of your choosing from a USB drive. You can go to one of several embroidery websites and purchase a design, or you can make your own using the PE-Design Next software, which digitizes an image you pick into a compatible, ready-to-sew format. I ran into a few problems when uploading my own image. But Brother sewing machines are sold through regional dealerships — there’s a dealer in most big cities — and they usually offer free classes and tutorials that can help demystify the process. There are also some video tutorials you can call up on the touchscreen.
The stitching itself is effortless. The machine threads itself with minimal human assistance. Bright LED lights at the base of each spool show you which color thread goes on which spool. Five LED runway lights illuminate the work area, but if you really want to get up close, you can watch the stitching on screen thanks to a digital camera that sits above the needle and captures the action.
That digital camera can also be used to help align the machine if you’re stitching something at an angle. Just indicate the plane you want to use as the design’s baseline by putting one of the included alignment stickers on the target fabric. The camera reads the orientation, then the machine’s robot brain rotates the design appropriately.
If you get tripped up — which will probably happen despite screen prompts and audio cues — you can always reference the built-in troubleshooting videos. Because let’s face it, even with a machine as intuitive as this one, when you’re dealing with ten needles moving faster than the eye can see, there’s bound to be a learning curve.
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