The Brother XM2701 is priced slightly above what you would expect for most beginner machines. While some beginners might be intimidated by this, it comes with some additional built-in features that might justify the extra cost.
Owing to not only the price range but also the market it is intended for, you should expect some significant upsides in addition to negatives as well. This necessitates a comprehensive Brother XM2701 sewing machine review before you can fully commit to the purchase. Luckily for you, this review has already been done in the sections below. With that, you can be sure of what positives to expect as well as the features or device problems that will influence your decision on the device.
As intimated above, the Brother XM2701 is made for beginners. You can see that in the simple design, which helps buyers make use of all the 27 built-in stitches. Additionally, the price is very telling despite being slightly higher than what you expect in a beginner machine. Nevertheless, previous buyers will likely tell you that the extra cost has been worth it. Most are impressed with the performance, ease of use, and let’s not forget how prestigious the Brother brand is when it comes to sewing machines.
There is some comfort in knowing that you’re using a Brother machine, which is further enhanced by the warranty. Notably, the guarantees provided vary depending on the components of the device. This means you might need to read the fine print to figure out what is covered and for how long. However, this information is also covered in the write-up below. This is in addition to a review of the design, overall performance, sewing speed, ease of use, and a few other rating metrics for the machine.
Also, while it’s certainly perfect for beginners, there are a couple of enthusiasts who buy it as well. Overall, it is not limited to any market base, so you can buy it if you feel the features are a match to your needs.
Of course, the first impression you get from the box as soon as you receive it is the machine is fairly compact. This is in addition to being lightweight. This allows you to pack it up in a sewing machine bag any time you need to. As such, you can take it with you on holiday and enjoy sewing in a hotel room. The manufacturer also caters to the fact that beginners may not have lots of desk or studio space when they start crafting. This might explain the sizing of the machine.
Once open, the package reveals a cute floral design on the front of the machine, which might not be to everybody’s liking. Some prefer plain-looking machines, although this is certainly not a deal-breaker for most buyers. Slightly above the floral design is the stitch pattern selection dial as well as the stitch pattern guide. This is in addition to about three other dials, all with their intended uses. You can also find a stitch pattern guide in the manual.
Everything else is pretty standard and similar to what you would expect in other sewing machines. This includes the bobbin winder, hand wheel, spool pin, thread guides, thread take-up lever, and more. Also, while it is computerized, a screen is excluded from the design of the device.
Another aspect of the design is the quick-set, top drop-in bobbin holder. This eliminates the need to pull the thread up manually before use. Also, the transparent cover of the bobbin holder makes it easier to see when you need to add more thread.
Overall the performance of the machine may seem to fall a bit short, but that’s only if you’re used to better quality enthusiast machines. If you’re a novice handling a sewing machine for the first time, you might not notice a difference. The stitches, for instance, seem to be a bit more loose or uneven when compared to higher-priced machines. However, despite not being the prettiest, they’re still capable of holding fabrics together.
Additionally, the buttonhole stitch may get the job done, but the sides of the stitch seem quite thin. Consequently, the result might not look as pretty compared to other buttonholes stitches by more advanced machines. On the other hand, you won’t find it an issue to wind your bobbins and thread your needle.
Also, you have a fairly sensitive foot pedal in the machine, which responds well to your input. That said, the sensitivity of the foot pedal does become a problem when you’re trying to use the device at medium speed. Consequently, it might take some getting used to, but eventually, you’ll be able to adjust the speed according to your needs.
Lastly, the stitch length and width are pretty limited at only 4mm and 5mm, respectively.
The Brother XM2701 should be easy to use regardless of skill level. Nevertheless, you still need to know some sewing machine basics such as where to put the thread, how to wind the bobbin, and more. After that, the stitch selection is relatively easy. This is because you have a selection dial with numbers and instructions to tell you what these numbers mean.
If any user feels they don’t have enough information on using the machine, the instructional DVD should fill in the gaps. This is in addition to a manual that is available in English and Spanish. Also, the automatic needle threader allows those with failing eyesight and shaky hands to thread needles easily and without much fuss. Lastly, there are three little dials on the top side of the machine to help you control some of the parameters of your stitching, e.g., the stitch tension, length, and width.
When you’re pushing hard on the foot pedal of the machine, it can pull off up to 800 stitches per minute. However, you can lower or increase the pressure depending on whether you want it to sew fast or slow. That said, this machine’s stitch speed isn’t far behind more expensive models such as the Brother SE1900. Most fall in the 800-850 stitches per minute category.
We’ve already mentioned that there are 27 built-in stitches in the machine that you can select using the dial provided. These are more than enough for most of your sewing jobs as a beginner. They include straight, zig-zag, decorative, and blind hem stitches. Additionally, some of these stitches are made explicitly for stretchy fabric.
The auto-size buttonhole stitch is also included among the 27. However, to get some of these stitches right, you need to use the correct sewing foot. For instance, the buttonhole foot needs to be added to the setup whenever you select the buttonhole stitch.
While using the Brother XM2701 machine, the prep work doesn’t stop after selecting the stitch type. There are still other parameters that need adjustment, e.g., the tension, width, and length of the stitches. Also, making the changes is as simple as rotating one of the three dials on the top of the machine. A higher number on the dial means a longer or wider stitch, while a smaller number is the opposite. That said, the maximum stitch length is 4mm while the maximum width is 5mm. These are fairly limited as some other machine models have larger stitch parameters. However, the differences are negligible.
Another positive of this affordably-priced machine is the automatic needle threader. Any person who has handled threading a needle using their hands will likely tell you it’s not a pleasant experience. The eye of the needle is usually so small that just putting the thread through it is a hassle. This is made even harder if the end of the thread is slightly frayed. However, with the incorporated needle threader, you won’t need to spend more than a few seconds figuring it out. This saves time and allows users to enjoy using the machine even more.
Also, the design of the Brother XM2701 incorporates a free arm. If you’re sewing fabric tubes such as an arm sleeve or pant legs, the free arm could be one of your greatest assets. It makes it a cinch to slip the tube around the machine. This makes it possible to sew the fabric without bunching it up or sewing through multiple layers accidentally.
Unfortunately, the machine doesn’t have a wide table base which would make things easier when working with long or wide pieces of fabric. As such, you’ll have to compensate by placing it on top of a work table. However, if you’re only dealing with smaller bits of fabric, the free arm may prove sufficient.
The brother manufacturer provides a small light above the sewing area of the machine. This should help light up your work and make it easier to keep your stitches and work steady. However, some users have noted this light to be slightly dim. You may need to confirm this to see if the light is enough for you or not. If not, there’s always the option of investing in a sewing light later on.
One reason why enthusiast sewers with bigger, better, and more expensive sewing machines choose the Brother XM2701 as a backup is the dimensions and weight. After all, you may have to travel every so often, and a machine that can fit in a bag and is easy to carry comes in handy. The dimensions of the device are 15.3 x 12.1 x 5.9 in making this possible.
Also, the ease of carry may be attributed to the lightweight construction. However, this also has the effect of making it more prone to damage. As such, you need to always be careful in how you handle and transport it.
Notably, the Brother XM2701 comes with a fairly complicated warranty where components have varying coverage terms. For instance, the parts, labor, and accessories are all covered for one year. However, this is different from the electric components. Remember that this is a computerized machine, and as such, there are bound to be a few electric components included. These come with guaranteed coverage of two years.
The last component covered under the warranty of the Brother XM2701 machine is the body. This component receives the most coverage as you can get it replaced or repaired by the manufacturer as late as 25 years after purchase. The only requirement is that you retain proof of the purchase. As such, it might not be a good idea to throw that receipt that came with the device into the trash.
However, if you order the machine on Amazon, the record may be available online.
In terms of accessories, the Brother XM2701 offers some essentials that should come in handy in your sewing journey. Examples include the four bobbins, a three-piece needle set, a twin needle, and an instructional DVD to help you make heads or tails of how to work the machine.
There is also the aspect of the sewing feet included. These include the zipper, zig-zag, narrow hem, buttonhole, button sewing, and blind stitch foot. These are enough to make use of all the 27 stitch types included in the machine, including even the buttonhole stitch. That said, you can up the functionality of the device by buying a few extra sewing accessories.
The pricing may be a sore spot for some potential buyers since the Brother XM2701 costs slightly higher than most other beginner sewing machines in the market. However, the machine is still very affordable, especially for a first-timer. Also, given the features and accessories included, the cost may be justified.
The Brother XM2701 may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it makes sense for beginners and even as a backup for pro sewers. Also as mentioned in the Brother XM2701 sewing machine review above the machine has enough stitch types and is easy to use. If you don’t mind the few minor issues mentioned, there’s no reason not to get it.