Need recommendations for new Embroidery Software!

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thurinus's avatar
So it looks like Sierra is discontinuing the free version of Stitch Era, Stitch Era Universal, sometime in 2013. The announcement was actually issued early last month, but I only noticed it today while creating the embroidery stitch files for the next pony. I had a good run with Stitch Era, but would prefer to explore and switch to other embroidery software as soon as possible.

Do any of you have recommendations for good alternatives? It'd be nice if they were free, but I wouldn't mind paying for them if they're priced reasonably. Candidates must be able to export to Brother's PES stitch file format, and preferably be able to import vectors from Adobe Illustrator.

Thanks for any suggestions!
© 2013 - 2021 thurinus
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We use Threads embroidery software ( Its fully digitized, great for editing. No complaints at all.
I have Generations embroidery software for sale with alot of pre digitized designs. if you are interested send me a message please.
eebharas's avatar
I'm going to go with embird when I switch because it's the most cost-friendly digitizing option I found. Unfortunately I couldn't find another free option.
thurinus's avatar
Hey that's a name I've heard tossed around occasionally... another one to add to the list. thanks!
adamlhumphreys's avatar
Sorry to speak prematurely. SophieSew 2 will support PES files, but currently I’m using a Brother machine and have been using DST files successfully. Importing vector files from Illustrator is probably beyond reach though unless that’s supported in the paid SophieSew 2 Pro.
thurinus's avatar
Good to know that Brother machines support other formats. Which machine do you use?
adamlhumphreys's avatar
That's what I thought too! I use the Brother SE-400. :)
adamlhumphreys's avatar
Makes me glad I didn't use it! You had to be online to even use it! :X I use SophieSew [link]. :w00t: It's free (so you don't have to be online or use a sorry dongle limiting you to one computer which screws you if you ever tried to upgrade)! It might be buggy, but it still works. Hopefully version 2 will be releasing soon enough and will be a lot better! :excited:
thurinus's avatar
The need to be online for it to work was indeed painful, and even more so because the authentication server was usually slow and sometimes didn't even work.

Importing vector files from Illustrator is actually a much-desired nice-to-have since I like designing with purpose-made vector tools, and having a common platform from which I can transfer designs to different embroidery software when things like this happen, but I'll give SophieSew a look-see. Thanks for the rec!
adamlhumphreys's avatar
Yup. :iconseriousnodplz:

I understand. Well, hopefully SophieSew won't be the only free tool around forever. It is vector based, so I'd imagine he'd implement something for Illustrator and whatnot, but I'm not sure. I only have Photoshop, so... ^^; Hope things work out. :)
PheiPlushies's avatar
Brother's PE Design is very much like Stitch Era, so you'd probably feel the most comfortable with that. :)
thurinus's avatar
Sweet - I think my machine came with it but I have yet to give it a chance. Will look into that when I get home. Thanks for the suggestion!
Biniwood's avatar
I use PE Design plus, which does everything I need :) It does all of the things that you've asked for, but they're not free. I'm not sure how much they are since mine came with my machine, but they are very good :)
thurinus's avatar
I think my LB-6800PRW came with PE Design, but I never gave it a chance because I had always assumed that free software that came with machines were subpar to other available ones in the industry. I blame all those years I kept getting Adobe PhotoDeluxe with printers and cameras :P I'll have to check PE Design out when I get home. Thanks for the rec!
NazFX's avatar
Good luck in your search. I just paid full price for Bernina V6 software, hopefully it will be worth it ^_^.
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