singer futura xl 400 review

The Singer Futura XL is a reliable sewing and embroidery machine that’s packed with features. With this machine, you’ll be able to effortlessly sew, embroider, and quilt on a range of fabrics. 

In this Singer Futura XL 400 review, we will take a closer look at this model, its features, pros, and cons.

Singer Futura XL 400: an overview

The Singer Futura XL 400 is a combination sewing and embroidery machine, and can even be used for quilting. This makes it a good choice if you like to execute a range of different projects, from monogramming to garment making, but don’t want to invest in a second machine for embroidery.

Singer Futura XL 400 sewing and embroidery machine

This mechanical machine comes with 30 sewing stitches- including two one-step buttonholes, 125 built-in embroidery designs, and five alphanumeric fonts for monogramming.

You can also download more embroidery designs online to embroider.

It can handle a range of different fabrics including heavy-duty denim and canvas, and you’ll be able to work on bulky projects thanks to its large work area and extension table. It’s also packed with features to make sewing easy and efficient, such as an automatic needle threader, start-stop button, needle stop up-down, and variable speed control.

Note that the Singer Futura XL 400 has now been discontinued, but you’ll still be able to find options to buy this model online.

What we like:

  • Versatile: This model has an impressive range of sewing, embroidery, and quilting functions, allowing you to complete a wide range of projects all on one machine.
  • Automatic functions: Including SwiftSmart threading system, needle stop up/down, push button start/stop, and variable speed control for ease of use.
  • More designs downloadable: You can connect the machine to your computer and use virtually any embroidery design available online, so the options are almost limitless!

What we don’t like:

  • No display screen: Meaning you need to connect the machine to your PC in order to use its embroidery functions.

Although it is pretty easy to connect your machine to a computer to embroider designs, you will need to have access to a PC to do this. Furthermore, there are extra steps involved if using a Mac computer, though it can still be done.

If you don’t want to have to connect the machine to a computer every time, you may be better considering another combination sewing and embroidery machine such as the Brother SE400. For more information on the differences between these two brands, check out our Singer vs Brother head-to-head comparison.

Singer Futura XL 400: features & benefits

This combination sewing and embroidery machine is packed with features, including:

  • 30 built-in stitches: For a range of sewing techniques on different fabrics.
  • One-step buttonholes: Two different one-step buttonholes for garment making.
  • 125 embroidery designs: Included with the machine, as well as five alphanumeric fonts.
  • Extra-large work area: With over eight inches of work area, plus an extension table included.
  • SwiftSmart threading system: Makes threading easier, threading the needle with just a push of a lever.
  • Needle stop up/down: So you can choose whether the needle stops in the up or down position.
  • Reverse-stitch function: Allowing you to change stitch direction effortlessly.
  • Drop-in bobbin: That comes with thread guides for easy loading.
  • Start-stop button: Meaning you can choose sew by using either the start-stop button or the traditional foot pedal.
  • Variable speed control: To closely control sewing speed.
  • Twin needle function: For sewing parallel rows of stitches using two spool pins.
  • Multi-hooping: To extend your embroidery area by up to four times.
  • Drop feed dogs: For free motion sewing and quilting.

Ease of use

The Futura XL 400 has loads of features and functions that makes using it efficient and hassle-free.

Easy threading

The Singer Futura XL 400 comes with Singer’s own SwiftSmart automatic needle threading system that lets you easily thread the machine’s needle with just a push of a lever. No more straining your eyes and testing your patience to try to thread the needle manually!

Futura XL 400 needle threader and drop in bobbin

With its user-friendly drop-in bobbin, you’ll also be able to load the bobbin easily, as the bobbin holder has thread guides -making this step almost completely foolproof.

This is particularly helpful for novice sewists to avoid thread tangling and incorrect bobbin thread tension.

One-step buttonholes

The Singer Futura XL 400 comes equipped with two different one-step buttonholes. This is a handy feature that takes all the pain out of sewing buttonholes when making garments or home décor projects.

All you need to do is attach the buttonhole presser foot, select the buttonhole stitch of your choice, and the Futura XL 400 will sew a nice, neat buttonhole.

The machine not only comes with a buttonhole foot but also an under-plate to help you sew the perfect buttonhole.

Other automatic functions

This machine also comes with a reverse stitch function. This allows you to easily change the direction of your stitches, such as when reinforcing the beginning and end of a seam.

The Futura XL also has a start-stop button that you can use as an alternative to the foot pedal to control stitching. With the variable speed control, you can slow down stitching speed to work more precisely when doing complex work, or while you’re building your skills.


This machine is well-suited to not only embroidery but also general sewing and even quilting. It comes with 30 built-in sewing stitches, with adjustable stitch length and width, as well as embroidery functions.

Embroidery functions

Along with a range of regular sewing functions, the Futura XL 400 has a number of embroidery features. It comes with 125 built-in embroidery designs as well as five different alphanumeric fonts.

This machine comes with two hoops for machine embroidery:

  • One four by four inch hoop for standard designs
  • One 10 by six inch hoop for larger designs

The Futura XL 400 also allows for “multi-hooping” where you use more than one hoop to extend your embroidery area by four times. When using this technique, you can embroider a design up to 18.5 by 11 inches on this machine.

embroidery on Singer Futura XL 400

One important thing to keep in mind is that in order to use the Futura XL 400 for embroidery you’ll need to connect it to a computer. Unlike many other embroidery machines, this model doesn’t have a display screen for selecting and previewing embroidery designs. Instead, all of this is done on the PC.

The machine comes with software that you can use to work the embroidery functions. This software can read a wide range of file formats, including PSW, PES, FHE, PCS, and EXP. This allows you to buy embroidery designs online in various formats, or download them for free.

However, this software technically only works on Windows machines.

Therefore, this sewing and embroidery machine is best used with a PC that runs on Windows, though you can also use it with a Mac computer if you install Windows as parallel.

Suitable for quilting

This machine’s features not only make it suitable for sewing and embroidery, but quilting too! Simply press the drop feed lever to drop the feed dogs and you’ll be able to do free-motion sewing, including free-motion quilting techniques.

The Singer Futura XL 400 has a large work area, with more than eight inches between the needle and the right side of the machine. This gives you plenty of space to work with large projects such as bulky quilts.

It also comes with an extension table that gives you even more room to work on oversized projects.

Twin needle function

The Futura XL 400 also has a twin needle function that allows you to sew parallel rows of stitches with two different spool pins.

This is useful for sewing on stretch fabrics, as well as certain sewing techniques such as quilting.

Range of presser feet

The Singer Futura XL 400 comes with seven presser feet for different sewing techniques, which are:

  • All-purpose foot
  • Satin stitch foot
  • Blind hem foot
  • Embroidery foot
  • Zipper foot
  • Button sewing foot
  • Buttonhole foot
Singer Futura XL 400 accessories

With these presser feet you’ll be able to work with a range of different fabrics, from lightweight silks and chiffons to heavy-duty fabrics like denim and canvas.

Alternatives to Singer Futura XL 400

The Futura XL 400 is not the only combination sewing and embroidery machine in Singer’s range. Its sister model, the XL 420, may look pretty similar at first glance, but there are a few differences.

Singer Futura XL 400 vs XL 420

The Singer Futura XL 400 and Singer XL 420 are both manual combination sewing and embroidery machines. Both machines are not computerized and so neither has an LCD screen, meaning you need to connect them to a PC to embroider designs.

Both machines come with 30 sewing stitches and five alphanumeric fonts, but the XL 420 has more embroidery designs, with 200 designs built-in compared to the XL 400’s 125 embroidery designs.

Aside from the XL 420’s additional embroidery designs, there are very few differences between these machines. They share a number of automatic features, such as an automatic needle threader and needle stop up/down function. One extra feature that the XL 420 boasts is a new lifter that lets you lift the presser foot while keeping your hands free.

The Singer Futura XL 420 is also more expensive than the XL 400, so you’ll need to consider if the extra investment is worth these additional features and embroidery designs, especially since you can download and use new designs on either machine.

End notes

The Singer Futura XL 400 is a versatile mechanical sewing machine that you can use for sewing, embroidery and quilting. With 125 built-in embroidery designs and five monogramming fonts, as well as sewing functions such as two one-step buttonholes, you can use this machine for a wide range of projects.

It is reliable and easy to use thanks to features like its SwiftSmart threading system, drop-in bobbin, and start-stop function. The major drawback of this mechanical model is that it lacks a display screen and so the only way to embroider designs is to connect it to a computer.

However, if you have a PC handy, you’ll find this very straightforward to do and will have no problems embroidering any design of your choosing!

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