Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine Review: Best For Beginners?

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The Brother XM2701 lightweight sewing machine is a heavy contender when it comes to simplified strength and durability while on the go.

While it’s definitely a good option if you’re just starting out with sewing or if you need a secondary machine to take on the road, it can be a little temperamental with bobbins and it might take some time to adapt to the sensitive foot pedal, however.

best sewing machine for beginners

But with a very affordable price tag and the backing of the Brother brand, this could well the right machine for you — especially if you’re a committed beginner.

Here we’ll lay out all the highs and lows, the hidden advantages and the occasional downfall, and everything in between – so you can make the most educated decision before hitting ‘order’ on the Brother XM2701 sewing machine.


Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine: The Details

The Look

It’s a fairly petite machine, which could be beneficial if you are looking for a model that does not take up too much desk space.

It has a decorative floral design on the front where you select your stitches, and while it is a cute design, it may not match the aesthetic of every sewer — we’re looking at you, minimalists.

One of the major selling points of the Brother XM2701 is how lightweight it is, but this does mean that most of it is made from plastic rather than metal, so it’s definitely not a heavy weight machine.

Specs

  • Weight: 15.8 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.8 x 7.6 x 15.1 inches
  • Stitches: 27 built-in stitches, including one-step auto-size buttonholer
  • Speed: Up to 800 stitches per minute
  • Computerized/Mechanic: Computerized
  • Bobbin: Drop-in bobbin
  • Warranty: 1 year for parts, labor, and accessories; 2 years for electronic components and printed circuit boards; and 25 years for the Chassis casting

Accessories

This Brother Sewing Machine is more or less a “bare bones” model, so the accessories are fairly standard. It comes with all the extras you would need to do basic projects.

If you are looking to do more complicated projects, Brother also offers you the option to buy additional accessories made specifically for Brother sewing machines.

Here’s what it comes with:

  • Six quick-change sewing feet: buttonhole, zipper, zigzag, narrow hemmer, blindstitch, and button sewing foot.
  • Three-piece needle set
  • Screwdriver
  • Extra spool pin
  • Three bobbins
  • Darning plate
  • Power cord
  • Instructional DVD
  • Operation manual in both English and Spanish

Brother: The Company

Brother International Corporation was started in 1954, but the company has actually been around for almost 120 years. The company was originally founded in Japan, by a sewing machine producer.

When they started their journey in the United States, their primary focus was on home office and business products. The Brother name quickly became synonymous with quality business and sewing products. You may have encountered some of their top of the line laserjet printers or all-in-one printers.

Brother brings the same level of dedication to quality to their sewing machines, which is part of why they have established a pretty good reputation within the sewing machine industry.

The Warranty

The warranty for the Brother XM2701 sewing machine is somewhat standard. In total, they offer a 25 year limited warranty. There are a few specific details of this warranty you will want to be familiar with, though.

Their warranty covers up to one year on parts, labor and accessories. If there are issues with the electronic components of the machine or the printed circuit boards, those are covered for up to two years.

The Chassis is the part of the machine that is covered for the longest amount of time; it remains insured for up to 25 years after you made your purchase. To benefit from the warranty, you have to have proof of purchase, so make sure you hang onto your receipt.

Brother XM2701 Features

The Brother XM2701 has some really great features that are tailormade for newbies learning how to sew, who might want to avoid the bells and whistles of more complex machines.

Here’s the official Brother introduction to their machine:

Easy, Automatic Needle Threader

Threading a needle on a sewing machine can be a hassle whether you’re a beginner or an experienced sewer — the parts are small and the hole is tiny.

But this Brother sewing machine makes it super easy.

It has a built-in automatic needle threader, so all you have to do to thread the needle is touch the lever on the side of the machine. The machine will pull the thread through the needle and you will be ready to start sewing.

Jam-Resistant Top Drop-In Bobbin

Good bobbin placement can be the key to even stitches. This machine is built to resist jamming.

We found that even though this feature works well most of the time, sometimes it can still jam if the bobbin is not wound properly, so you do need to be aware.

The machine does have an automatic bobbin winder built-in, but you may still want to watch the thread carefully as it winds.

27 Built-In Stitches

The 27 stitches pre-programmed into the XM2701 are really all you’ll need for your basic sewing projects.

They cover decorative, blind hem, zigzag and stretch stitches, as well as a one-step auto-size buttonholer.

Easy Stitch Selection

The dial for stitch selection is straightforward and clear, on the front of the machine, so you should be able to pick out the stitch you want without any confusion.

One-Step Buttonholes

Buttonholes can be intimidating, especially to beginning sewers. The machine comes with buttonhole foot and a button fitting foot, which make it easy to create buttonholes for any sewing project.

The machine also auto-sizes the buttonholes, so you can select whatever size is best for your project.

Twin Needle Capability

If you fancy doing a bit of hemming with your sewing machine, you’ll be able to do with no problem thanks to the Brother XM2701’s twin needle capability.

It’s great to see this feature on an entry level machine.

Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine Review

The Positives

Very Easy to Use

We’re convinced that the Brother XM2701 might be one of the best sewing machines for beginners available right now.

For one thing, it’s truly very easy to use.

Stitch selection is practically effortless thanks to the easy-to-read stitch dial. Some machines make stitch selection overly complicated, either by having more than one dial or a complicated numbering system for their stitches.

Although the automatic needle threader might take a few tries to get used to, it’s infinitely easier and more efficient than squinting to thread the eye of your needle itself.

Plus, the included DVD is surprisingly helpful if you do find yourself in a jam. It covers most of the basics and walks you through how to use the machine.

Great for Basic Projects and More

This is a really good machine for beginners, especially if you are looking for a machine that does more than just ‘basic’ stitches. Most comparably priced machines offer a few less stitches than the Brother XM2701 lightweight sewing machine does. We’re really impressed with the wide-ranging 27 stitch selection.

If you are just starting out or looking for a machine that you can do basic clothing, blankets, and other small projects on, this machine is a really good fit.

It seems to be made for sewers who are just starting out, because it’s perfect for someone who is new to sewing that does not want to invest in a more industrial style machine.

 

Lightweight and Portable

While beginners naturally love the Brother XM2701 sewing machine, we know a handful of more experienced sewers who have bought it as a second machine to take travelling with them.

It’s surprisingly lightweight given its capabilities, and easy to slot into a sewing machine bag to boot.

It’s Cheap

While the XM2701 doesn’t sport the same bargain basement prices as some of the cheapest sewing machines on the market, we think it’s very reasonably priced given its capabilities and ease of use.

This isn’t a knock-off machine for kids or people looking to simply have a play around, it’s a well made machine designed for committed beginners and experienced sewers on a budget.

It’s impressive.

The Negatives

 

No Medium Speed

The foot pedal can be pretty sensitive. If you are looking to sew at a medium speed, this can be difficult, because at times, even a slight press forward can cause the speed of the sewing machine to go quite quickly.

Hopefully this won’t be a dealbreaker for you — we found that it simply took a little time to get used to.

Dim LED Light

The LED light isn’t very bright. If you are hoping to have a well-lit sewing area, you may have to invest in a sewing light.

 

Bobbins Can Be Troublesome

It’s always best to make sure you have the right kind of bobbin for your sewing machine, but even with the correct bobbin this machine can be a bit temperamental.

You really have to make sure the bobbin is wound just right, to avoid problems with the thread getting stuck during stitching.

Again, we should stress that this was rarely a problem and just a minor annoyance when it did happen. It’s worth knowing about though, just in case you have the expectation that this is a faultless machine.

Overall Verdict

Though there are some issues, the Brother XM2701 could be the best cheap sewing machine on the market right now.

Many models with a comparable price tag offer a lot less in terms of features and a few more headaches when it comes to problems. This machine, on the other hand, is easy to use and offers a lot for both beginner and intermediate sewers.

Not to mention, it’s also super portable so an ideal second machine for sewing on the road,

Brother has also been in the sewing machine industry for a long time, so you can have confidence that they will back their product if you do encounter any complications.

All-in-all, this is a great sewing machine for beginners who want to learn how to sew or for experienced sewers who need a secondary machine that is a bit more portable. We love it!

Where to Buy the Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine

With a low price tag, light weight and almost universal appeal, you won’t be surprised that the XM2701 is a perennially popular sewing machine that can be found in most homeware stores.

And, of course, it’s available on Amazon.

brother xm2701 sewing machine


Have you tried the Brother XM2701 Lightweight Machine yet?


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