Do you want to advance your sewing and embroidery skills? Do you like a bit of creativity in your sewing?
Either way, the Singer Futura XL-400 Sewing and Embroidery Machine goes above and beyond the call of a sewing machine, offering you the opportunity to create embroidery designs on your computer, transfer them to your machine, and then watch your hard work unfold in real life.
One of many popular sewing machines for home use, but aimed at advanced sewers, the Futura XL-400 will undoubtedly allow you to grow your sewing and embroidery skill set and create impressive pieces of work.
Sure, it’s not a perfect machine — no machine is.
All the same, we’ll give you a rundown of the machine’s details and our honest review of the product, then let you decide whether or not the Futura XL-400 is the one for you.
Let’s get started!
Singer Futura XL-400 Machine: The Details
To begin: the Singer Futura XL-400 is fairly sizeable.
Despite its sleeker look, you’re going to need to designate a particular spot on your desk for this machine. The machine leaves a lot of room for work to be done and keeps its design simple.
Your stitch options are outlined on the neck of the machine and backlit by light grey-blue plastic.
Despite its simple white and grey color pattern, the Singer Futura XL-400 makes a statement just by looking at it.
- Weight: 23 lbs
- Dimensions: 22 x 9.5 x 13 inches
- Stitches: 30 Built In Stitches
- Speed: 600/min
- Computerized/Mechanic: Computerized
- Bobbin: Drop & Sew Bobbin System
- Warranty: Limited 25-Year Warranty
A pretty substantial machine, so far, but let’s take a look at its accessories. The Singer Futura XL-400 comes along with:
- 10 inch x 6 inch embroidery hoop
- 4 inch x 4 inch embroidery hoop
- Embroidery foot
- Thread spool nets
- Scissors, USB cable
- Embroidery software and design CD
- All-purpose foot
- Zipper foot
- Buttonhole foot with underplate
- Blind hem foot
- Satin stitch foot
- Button sewing foot
- Pack of needles
- Bobbins (Class 15J)
- Thread spool caps
- Auxiliary spool pin
- Spool pin felt
- Seam ripper/Lint brush
- Machine intro DVD
- Quick Start guide
- Instruction manual with stitch guide
- Foot control
- Power cord
That’s quite the line up! What else would you expect, though, from a company that’s been in the business from the start?
Singer: The Company
Singer is by far one of the best known producers of sewing machines world-wide. They’ve been in the business of sewing machine craftsmanship since 1851 and have smashed through many of sewing’s first milestones, creating the first electric machines and ensuring that sewing has become easier for everyone interested in the craft.
Singer produces a variety of sewing machines and is constantly working to improve upon previous models. It’s likely that they have something for every sewer among their vast collection, and they’ve proven themselves to be a company of repute.
What about the Singer Futura XL-400 really stands out, though? Well…
The Singer Futura XL-400’s SwiftSmart Threading system includes an automatic needle threader that eases your work from the get-go.
No need to spend five minutes poking your thread at the eye of a needle — Singer’s got you covered.
Drop & Sew Bobbin System
Likewise, the Drop & Sew Bobbin system ensures that switching out bobbins is as easy as possible.
No need to pick up the bobbin thread – the Drop & Sew Bobbin system handles that for you.
The Singer Futura XL-400 comes already programmed with 30 different stitches for you to choose from, including two one-step buttonholes.
That’s plenty of variety already, and all of it accessible in both Singer’s manual and on the machine’s neck.
Feel like venturing away from your standard stitches? The Futura enables you to continue to expand your skill beyond your sewing foundation, and it tries to make the process as easy as possible.
The Singer Futura sewing and embroidery machine is dual named for a reason, of course – you can sew and embroider.
And the machine goes all out on the embroidery front, offering you 125 predetermined patterns to choose from, including 5 fonts and outline lettering.
The inclusion of two embroidery hoops isn’t shabby, either. If you feel up to the challenge, you can take advantage of Futura XL-400’s multi-hooping capability and go nuts on your embroidery projects too.
That’s not the last of it, though. The Singer Futura XL-400 comes along with the software necessary for you to design your own embroidery patterns, edit them at your leisure, and then transfer them into the machine. No previous coding knowledge necessary, only creativity.
We have to admit that this feature took us a little while to get our heads around — but it’s certainly a great thing for the avid embroiderers out there!
There’s a large embroidery hoop option available already, measuring 10″ x 6″, but the inbuilt software that comes with the Singer Futura XL-400 allows you to create an even bigger virtual hoop, meaning that ultimately you can create designs of double that size — 20″ x 12″.
Other nifty features of the Singer Futura XL-400 include:
- Embroidery design editing control
- Lettering program
- Six Staybright LED lights
- Computer-to-machine software
Singer Futura XL-400 Review
That’s the Singer Futura XL-400 in data — but what’s our opinion of it? Is it one of the best sewing and embroidery machines on the market? Let’s take a look.
Perfect for Large Embroidery Designs
Considering its mid-market price, we were bowled away that we’re able to create embroidery designs up to 20″ x 12″ on this machine.
In many similar — and even higher — priced sewing and embroidery machines, the maximum hoop size you’re looking at is a measly 4″ x 4″.
This is a major plus for the Singer Futura XL-400 and a big reason behind its popularity.
Here’s a look at it in action:
Easy to Use
While we wouldn’t recommend the Futura XL-400 as a sewing machine for beginners, it’s blessed with plenty of features that make it as accessible as possible to all.
The Swift Smart Threading System is intuitive and quick, while the drop and sew bobbin system is a walk in the park.
As an added bonus,the 6 StayBright LED lights make this one of the better lit embroidery machines we’ve ever used.
And while there is a bit of a learning curve once you start using it, there’s plenty of support out there — through its manual, DVD, and video tutorials, it’s a machine anybody could get a handle on.
Huge Sewing Area
Another big plus is the amount of room and throat space you have to create with this machine. It’s the ideal size for working on larger projects like quilts, tapestries and clothes.
The arm length to the right of the needle is a whopping 8.25″ — very generous indeed.
The actual sewing quality of the Futura XL-400 isn’t anything to turn your nose up at, either.
Take care not to overload the machine when you’re working on your projects, but there’s no need to worry about it too much — it’s clearly been designed to handle a variety of fabrics and has yet to reveal a weakness on any particular one, regardless of thickness.
Excellent Value for Money
As we’ve hinted at already, we think the Singer Futura XL-400 represents a great deal considering the amount of features and potential that this machine boasts.
It’s by no means a cheap sewing machine, but it’s priced firmly in the mid market for sewing and embroidery hybrids. We think it generally performs very well against its competitors.
Not Compatible with Macs
Our number one beef with the Singer Futura XL-400 is a big one: it’s not compatible with Mac computers.
Somewhat stupidly, we hadn’t read the computer requirements before we clicked ‘purchase’ so we spent a few hours rooting around in our attic crawl space for an old PC laptop.
The machine and the software requires a PC with 1 GHz Intel or AMD Processor, Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1 operating system and a CD Rom drive.
For all the Mac users out there, you’ll need to take a look at another machine.
Keep an eye on your tension settings, and don’t just rely on the instructions in the Futura XL-400 manual.
Sometimes the machine gets a little too tense for the thread’s liking, or sometimes it’s a hair too loose – whichever direction it’s heading, be sure to keep an eye out.
Some folks complain that the software included with the Singer Futura XL-400 is too simple for their liking.
It allows for creation and editing, but if you’re interested in more complicated options, you may have to pay more for software expansions. The impact of this really depends on how involved you want to get with your design work, but it’s a valid issue and worth noting.
In general, we think the Singer Futura XL-400 is an excellent sewing and embroidery machine that offers a lot more than other machines at a similar price point.
It’s a great value choice for people working on large embroidery projects, and it’s a high quality machine to boot.
There are a couple of niggles — most importantly, that it’s not compatible with Macs — but on the whole we think it’s a great buy for people looking to expand their skills in this department.
Where to Buy the Singer Futura XL-400
What with its mid market price and general high quality, this is definitely a popular sewing and embroidery machine.
Here are a few of the online marketplaces that you can find it:
And, of course, it’s available on Amazon too.
Have you tried the Singer Futura XL-400 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery machine yet?
For more reviews, head over to our complete archives of machine reviews.
Singer Futura XL-400 Review
Ease of Use
The Singer Futura XL-400 is a great combination sewing and embroidery machine that’s well made, well priced and ideal for large embroidery designs — up to 12″ x 20″!
There are a few niggles with it, and it’s not compatible with Mac computers, but overall it’s a good machine.