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Using a sewing machine that is reliable and will help get every sewing project done with ease is important.
That said, there might be one in particular that could do more things than any average sewing machine on the market.
In this Brother Sewing Machine review, we’ll be taking a more in-depth look into the Strong and Tough Sewing Machine.
If you’re in the market for a high-quality sewing machine, this one could be right up your alley when it comes to those do-it-yourself sewing projects.
It’s built by a brand that’s been around for a long time.
Brother has a reputation for building excellent products, and this sewing machine is no exception.
Let’s learn more about it for you to determine if this is the right machine for you.
Brother Sewing Machine Review
Brother Industries manufacture and distribute the ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine.
The company was founded in Nagoya, Japan, in 1908 as the Yasui Sewing Machine Company.
They then established Brother International Corporation in 1955 as their affiliate based in the United States of America.
Aside from sewing machines, Brother expanded their manufacturing beyond sewing machines and have also focused on printing, fax, and other office equipment.
Yet, they have long been a mainstay in the sewing machine market.
The Brother Strong and Tough
It is unclear when the ST371HD Strong and Tough sewing machine was made, so it’s hard to say if there had been earlier models.
Nevertheless, the Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine comes with a purpose.
Its aim is to provide users with quick, versatile sewing for every possible project imaginable.
Plus, it will also allow you to perform all kinds of stitching patterns, including hard-to-do by hand patterns.
Who Is This Product For?
The Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine is ideal for a lot of people and best for:
If you are new to sewing or want to learn how to sew, this is probably the sewing machine you want to try out.
That said, this is a sewing machine that will fit any user no matter what level their sewing skills are.
- Those Who Need to Finish Tasks Quickly
If you are someone who has a few projects under their belt, the Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine will also be great for you.
The machine can work hard to make sure that every project turns out better than ever.
You won’t have to be intimidated by how fast it can sew or how much fabric it can handle.
The machine is designed to handle every possible fabric you can think of, including the tough and thick types.
Plus, it can also stick right beside you for quite some time once you get the hang of the whole sewing thing.
You never know if and when you would need it for those patterns that may be too complicated to do by hand.
- Those Looking for Great Value for Money
If anything around $200 is something that you can afford, then there’s a good chance that the Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine will be right up your alley.
Even if you are on a budget, the price shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
Besides, you should always invest in the best machine that will fit your budget.
Never under any circumstances must you sacrifice quality and performance just to save a few dollars.
Doing so will lead you to use a sewing machine that is ineffective and unreliable after short-term use.
Inside the box, apart from the Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine, you’ll get a quick start guide, an instructional manual written in two languages, and a DVD that contains many educational lessons on sewing patterns, and more.
You’ll also get a three-piece needle set, a twin needle, two pieces of spool caps, a spool pin, six feet, four bobbins, a screwdriver, and a cover to protect your machine from dust and dirt.
It will probably be enough for you to get the hang of using this sewing machine if you are new to it.
Overview of Features
The Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine comes complete with excellent features that beginners and people with sewing experience will enjoy.
You’ll actually be surprised how much is jam-packed in a good-sized sewing machine quite like this.
Let’s take a look at what you’ll be getting:
- Up to 37 Different Stitch Settings
From straight stitches to zig-zags and everything in between, this sewing machine will have a setting for that; in fact, you’ll have 37 different stitch settings to work with.
It comes complete with an illustrated stitch guide, so you know which setting is which.
What is better is that you just need to turn the designated knob to select the stitch of your choice.
- Automatic Needle Threader and Drop-in Bobbin
Threading your needle seems like a complicated task, especially if you are a newbie to using sewing machines or sewing itself.
That said, you don’t have to go through the frustration since the Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine has an automatic needle threader, which means that the machine will feed the thread through the needle using bobbin that is easy to thread and to install.
- Versatile Free Arm
One of the best attributes that you can have in a sewing machine is versatility, and you get exactly that in the free arm attached to this Brother machine.
Whether you are just doing simple, beginner-level projects or some complicated sewing, this machine can do it all.
Just choose the fabric and thread of your choice and get right to work.
- Excellent Customer Service Support
If you end up getting the Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine, you’ll get more than the awesome features.
You’ll get excellent customer service by way of online chat or phone.
No matter how you reach them, Brother’s customer support team is always happy to help their customers.
- LED Light
The Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine also has an LED light built-in.
However, it doesn’t seem bright enough for you to see in low-light environments.
- Fabric Compatibility
You can use this Brother sewing machine to sew various fabric materials of different thickness levels, such as leather, suede, canvas, jeans, burlap, and silk.
Not only is it because it comes with several stitch designs and a metal needle plate, but also because of the different needle sizes it can accommodate.
Additionally, the Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine comes with a #16 needle that you can use to sew heavyweight material, as well as a #14 needle for layered fabric and a #11 needle for lightweight materials.
- Multiple Feet
As mentioned, the Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine comes with six different feet.
Through this, you can make blind stitches with ease. Attaching the button will also be effortless; just adjust the foot to buttonhole setting!
Another great thing about this machine is that if you plan to make buttonholes, you can do so with little to no hassles. That is all thanks to its auto-size buttonhole feature.
You’ll also love the machine’s zigzag foot because it comes with a spring action system, which lets you create the said stitch type smoothly, no matter how thick the fabric material is.
Lastly, the non-stick foot will make it easy for you to feed several kinds of fabric consistently, which, in turn, helps you create good quality stitches.
- Can sew thicker seams
- Perfect for many projects
- Easy to set-up
- Superior sturdiness
- 25-year limited warranty
- The LED light should be brighter
- Lack of thread settings
- May take a while to figure out
- Does not come with a finger guard
How to Set It Up
To get a good idea of how to set set up and use your ST371HD Sewing Machine and make this Brother Sewing Machine review comprehensive and helpful enough, you can follow the guide below or follow this video tutorial.
Here’s what you do:
- Connect the foot pedal and the power cord.
- Look over the stitching guide included with the sewing machine. You can set up the stitching guide by snapping it on top of the machine itself.
- Wind the bobbin by placing the thread on top of the thread bar and slide in the stopper.
- Run the thread through the metal hook on the top of the sewing machine and the white tab adjacent to it.
- Loop it around the metal knot that is adjacent to the white tab and wrap it around the metal wheel near it.
- Take the end of the thread and place it in the middle of your bobbin. Thread it out the top and pull it through until the thread is tight.
- Flip the bobbin upside down and place it on the bobbin clutch. Pull the thread for it to have tension.
- Move the bobbin clutch to the right so that the sewing machine can wind the thread.
- Hold the thread sticking out of the bobbin clutch (the extra thread hanging towards you). Lightly press the foot pedal, and that extra thread will cut off in the process.
- Keep hold of the pedal until the bobbin is full. The machine will stop by itself to give you the indication that you have a full bobbin of thread.
- Cut any extra thread.
- Move the bobbin clutch to the left and remove the bobbin.
- Drop the bobbin in with the thread going counterclockwise.
- Feed it through the notched hook through the path, and it should cut the thread at the end.
- Now, you can thread the top bobbin.
At this point, the process is the same as above (using the metal hook, white tab, etc.).
- Once you go through the white tab, go straight down the tab where it’s marked “3”.
- Loop around and place it in the metal hook where it says 4.
- Pull the thread down the channel labeled “5”.
- Now, take the end of your thread and adjust it to a sideways position.
- Place the thread behind the notch located below the number “6”, then pull it down to stabilize the thread.
- Take the thread and run it through the “V”, then pull the lever down and run a thread between the little grooves. At this point, you should have a loop formed.
- Grab the loop and pull it until the thread is all the way through.
- Feed it through the groove on the presser foot and pull the thread through the back.
Test It Out
To see if the machine is threaded, test it out using a layer of fabric.
- Set it to a straight stitch.
- Slide the fabric about half an inch in and do a couple of forward stitches.
- Then repeat by doing a couple of backward stitches.
- Repeat using forward stitches, but go through one end of the fabric to the other.
- Now, you can perform stress tests using thicker materials like denim, leather, or other materials.
Stress Testing With Tougher Materials
In this section, we will break down how you can make the most out of the Brother Strong and Tough Sewing Machine.
Since it has some abilities that other sewing machines do not, you’ll be impressed by what it can do.
Take any kind of tough material like the ones mentioned earlier and perform straight stitches.
Add on a layer and repeat the process until the thread gives out.
Sewing Examples for Tougher Materials
If you need to sew denim or leather, let’s look at a couple of examples.
This will give you a good idea of what you’ll need to do when using any of the materials.
For one, you would need a needle that is strong enough to handle denim; Schmetz Jean Needles are probably your best option.
You’ll also need an industrial strength thread.
- Once you threaded your needle, you’ll need to set up your upper tension and stitch length. For most denim jeans, a tension setting of six and a stitch length of four is sufficient.
- Step on the pedal and stitch where you need to; you should easily get over the seams or humps.
- Be sure to cut your threads when needed.
- Once you get to your starting point or the first seam, you should have completed your task.
For needle size, you’ll need to consider a size 18 designed for leather.
Your thread should be a bonded nylon V69 thread or a similar one.
The tension setting should be eight, but the stitch length should stay on four.
You may have some issues with the needle penetrating through the leather, so be sure to get the right measurements of the nylon material before moving forward.
If you need to do a stress test on leather, take a four-ounce piece of leather and do straight stitching from one edge to the other.
Add an extra layer of leather if you wish.
At this point of our Brother Sewing Machine review, you might already have an idea of whether or not the ST371HD is what you need for your sewing projects.
If you are still confused or want to be perfectly sure of your purchasing decision, let us give you some alternatives that you can consider.
Brother RST531HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine
One of the major downsides we mentioned about the Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine is the finger guard, but there is another type of Brother Strong and Tough Sewing Machine that you should consider.
The RST531HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine has a finger guard, which will come in handy for newbie users.
Another difference is that it also has 53 inbuilt stitching options that you can choose from, allowing you to become more creative when sewing clothes, bags, and other stuff.
Singer 4423 Sewing Machine
Another alternative to consider, especially if you are looking for a sewing machine that is somewhat more affordable than the ST371HD, is the Singer 4423 Sewing Machine.
Like the Brother ST371HD Tough and Strong, it can handle all kinds of fabrics, is heavy-duty, and comes with multiple accessories, a user manual plus videos, and a 25-year limited warranty.
That said, it has a more powerful motor for those heavy-duty projects that no average sewing machine can handle and 23 inbuilt, different stitching designs.
Janome 2030QDC-B Machine
If you are also into quilting, the Janome 2030QDC-B would be a great computerized sewing machine that you can consider.
Although it comes at a hefty price, you won’t only receive the machine but also an extension table and a quilting kit.
Finding the perfect sewing machine doesn’t have to be a daunting task, but if you want a durable, affordable, and easy-to-use machine that will get the job done quickly and efficiently, the ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine might be what you are looking for.
You’ll be quite impressed with the way it can work with so many types of fabrics, and how easy it is to shift from one stitch design and foot to another.
Whether it’s light or thick, this sewing machine is not one to be underestimated!