How To Sew Decorative Stitches On A Brother Sewing Machine (Video)
There are so many great things about the Brother Q Series sewing machines, one of which being the large selection of stitches, both decorative and functional. Even better? They’re easy to use. When it comes to sewing decorative stitches, you can either customize your stitches —changing the length and the width as you’d like— or you can just click and go.
Here’s how to select stitches on your Brother sewing machine. I’m showing how on the Brother NQ900, but this tutorial applies to most Brother sewing machines.
When you are ready to sew, it’s important that you can easily navigate your sewing machine between stitch variations. I’m going to show you how to choose different stitches, whether they’re functional, decorative, or fonts on your Brother Q Series sewing machine. This one here is the NQ900.
On the left-hand side of your machine’s LCD panel are four stitch buttons:
- Pre-set stitches and saved patterns
- Utility stitches
- Decorative stitches
- Character stitches
This first button gives you two options: pre-set stitches and saved patterns. When the machine is in pre-set mode, the stitch is the one illustrated on the numeric keys. So 1 through 4 are your straight stitches, 5 and 6 are your zigzags, 7 is your stretch stitch, 8 is your stem stitch, and 9 is your overcast stitch.
When you press one of these pre-set stitches, you’ll see the pre-set diagram repeated in the top left corner, so you know what mode you’re in, and you’ll see the number of the stitch you’ve selected right beside it.
You’ll also see an image of the recommended presser foot. For example, the Zigzag foot (J), or when I press 9 for my overcast stitch, the machine shows me I need to switch to my Overcast foot (G). You’ll also see an image of the stitch as if it’s coming straight out from the presser foot. This stitch preview is like an overhead look of the machine and stitch, but laid on its side.
When you click this button to switch to the saved pattern mode, that’s when any of your saved stitches appear including this one, which is a double-heart pattern I created using My Custom Stitch. And just press “OK” to select it.
The remaining three buttons (your utility stitches, your decorative stitches, and your character stitches) all refer to the stitch options and patterns printed inside the top cover.
The utility stitches include straight and overcast stitches plus buttonholes.
The decorative stitches are broken down into three different categories, each with their own set of patterns. So when choosing the decorative stitch mode, you have to make sure you’re choosing from the right category. If you’re in Mode 2, for example, you’ll be choosing stitches from this category.
And then the character stitches also have different modes, each being a different font. This machine has five different modes: Gothic, Handwriting, Outline, Cyrillic, and Japanese.
Whenever you choose a stitch, let’s say we’re choosing utility stitch 45, which is a smocking stitch, the machine automatically adjusts your settings, so you can just run your fabric through as-is. However, if you want to customize it, you can use these plus and minus keys.
This first set adjusts the stitch width, which is indicated by this zigzag diagram going from narrow to wide. And this second set adjusts the stitch length, which is shown by a small line getting longer. This last set of adjustments are for the upper thread tension. But don’t touch that. If you have tension issues with your machine or thread bunching up under your fabric, that’s user error related to your bobbin that you need to correct.
If you adjust these but then decide you want to bring them back to their original settings, keep clicking the arrows — the pre-set values are highlighted.
Notice if I choose decorative stitch mode 1 and then stitch #18, which is this beautiful swirl pattern, the stitch width and length are not adjustable. That’s because they’re fixed for this particular pattern.
Any time you need to exit out of any stitch, just click this “C” back button.
Once you’ve chosen your stitch and have made any adjustments needed (like changing your presser foot, for example), then you just run your fabric through your machine and create a beautiful, perfect stitch.
The Brother Q Series sewing machines are so easy to use once you know what all of the buttons are for. Take the time to get to know your sewing machine before you jump into any project.