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Dreamweaver XE – Part I #brothercanada #lettheangelssing

It’s been a while now since this beautiful machine made a temporary home with us. And while my kitchen is cleaner as a result of it not being the table centerpiece – I’m still very very bummed.

So are my unfinished {and un-started} sewing projects.

It’s take me so long to write this post for one major reason – I didn’t know where to start. I mean, what to mention first, what will you find valuable, etc.

So I made a rather genius decision {I’m known for that} and I’m going to start at the beginning. #inspired


Special Delivery

I get e-mails daily from companies reaching out with review opportunities. Many aren’t of interest to me, or don’t fit with my blog, and others I reply to never go further than that. And then some fit so perfectly with my life and vision for my blog, and replies go back and forth and delivery plans are made, etc….but honestly I never really know if it’s going to play out until the product arrives.

This item in particular had me on pins and needles for WEEKS! From the first e-mail I was squealing with delight and crossing everything that it was legit. And it was.

And my life has never been the same.

the beast

Beauty and the Beast – all in one!

I have to say, the Dreamweaver XE did not disappoint. I had pretty high expectations {it is a $7,000 machine after all} and couldn’t wait to get started.



Do  you see this? Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s the English and French together {thought it’s still big}….this is JUST the English copy of the instruction manual. My favorite part is the smaller print at the bottom: *Be sure to read the document before using this machine*. HA! Document you say? DOCUMENT? This is no document….this is a full on NOVEL…a  series of novels all mashed together.

So I did what anyone with a giant manual such as this would do…I thumbed through it and then got to it!

The great thing about the Dreamweaver XE {or ONE of the great things} is the computerized feature. Several how to videos and instruction pages can be viewed right on the machine’s screen. SO easy!


How to thread the bobbin

Because every machine has a slightly different bobbin threading arrangement, I thought it best to learn how exactly to do it on this machine instead of just trying it on my own. The giant instruction manual told me how to access the computerized instruction options and I was on my way. EASY PEASY!

On the other hand, I wanted to see how easy it would be to thread the machine without any instructions at all, only following the diagrams that are on the machine itself. Honestly, it was clear, fast, and simple. Except for threading the needle – it took me a good 5 minutes to get the thread through the stupid thing.

You know why?

Because it’s not meant to be manually threaded. Yes, that means what you think it means….THIS SUCKER THREADS ITSELF!

Oh, yes it does!

Never in my life have I loved a sewing machine feature so much, as I do this one. It single-handedly caused me to fall in love with this machine. Everything else was just the icing on the cake….lots and lots of icing.


Embroidery Features

Now, because I didn’t have a quilt ready to make and I think sewing is pretty straight forward, I decided to jump right in and test out the mad embroidery features. What better way than with Minnie herself?

I consulted the *handy dandy {GIANT} notebook* for some instruction on how to get started and away I went. I used a scrap piece of flannel to start, also using the stabilizer Brother kindly sent along with the machine. Which, in case you are wondering, is  a MUST!


Embroidery Frame

Now, because I’ve never embroidered before I don’t have embroidery thread in my sewing kit. So I just used what I had on hand {Gutterman is my favorite}, though would have loved to see the difference in using the actual Brother embroidery thread. But for a machine I wasn’t able to keep {just awful}, it wasn’t a financial investment I was willing to make.

Another fun feature: The bobbin winds itself. I mean, without having to use the foot pedal….once you push the bobbin post into place, the machine just works it’s magic. Ah – love.


Built in lighting

This photo is basically a fluke as a result of my poor photography skills. But I wanted to show you the amount of lighting on this fabulous machine. Pretty impressive if you ask me, and particularly in my poorly lit kitchen, this feature was rather important.


Laser Needle Placement

Do you see it? The tiny little red laser light? Yeah, I love it too….it let’s you know where the needle will be. In embroidery it’s not the most important feature {though helpful at times for sure}, but when quilting or doing any project using the *stitch in the ditch* method, this light is ESSENTIAL!

I also loved that with the simple tap of a button on the touch screen, the embroidery frame would move to give you the sizing dimensions and placement of your project! With, of course the ability to make your own modifications!

Here comes Minnie:


Minnie Mouse

I mean, how perfect is she?! Not too shabby for the first attempt I would say. And I immediately knew I wanted to do it again, so I pulled out my handy dandy pattern binder {thanks to my cousin for the great idea} and chose this handbag pattern from Super Eggplant.


Patterns, Patterns, Patterns

And then I chose my fabrics – still using scraps of flannel, but I was so excited to put it together.


I love me some polka dots

And the inside – because I love zebra print and even Minnie Mouse can be a little sassy too! 😉


Sweet and Sassy

And I was pretty much sold on this machine. And couldn’t wait to get going on more projects, especially more embroidery as I knew it was the feature I would miss the most.

So over the next few days my friends and I got together and played around:


Lightening McQueen {or as Jonah calls him *Lightening and the Queen*}

*Strangely I have no finished photo of this, but rest assured it was fab!*


Donald Duck *during*

donald duck

Donald Duck *After* – minor outlining glitch on his foot


Sully and Mike *during*


Sully and Mike – *my fave*

And this was only the beginning! So much more to do and learn. Stay tuned!

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