There are many sewing machines marketed with the beginner in mind. The Brother XL26000I is a mini version that still packs a punch.
With a very wide number of both stitches and accessories, the XL2600I is not only ideal for beginners but is also suited to more advanced sewers. Whether it's your first project or a more complex undertaking with heavy fabrics, the Brother will grow with you.
One of the factors which informs the design of the XL2600I is ease of use. For beginners, complication for the sake of it leads to confusion and becoming discouraged. With an intuitive operation and clear instructions, the Brother makes things easy for you when you are starting out.
When you are shopping for a new sewing machine and comparing different models, stitch count is usually high on the list. For a beginner this subject can be overwhelming so look at it this way: stitch count is simply an indicator of the variety of different projects the sewing machine can handle.
It is logical that different tasks will demand different kinds of stitches. Hems can be used to illustrate this... It is standard practice for the hems on jeans to have visible threads. Contrast this with a pair of dress pants. More often than not there will be no thread stitch detectable at the bottom. So, the greater the stitch variety on offer, the more finishing touches you can apply. The Brother does not underperform.
The 25 built-in stitches spans the full gamut from lightweight to much heavier materials. You can confidently work with several layers of fabric such as denim, canvas, duck or quilting material.
Stretch and zigzag stitches - as well as many other decorative options - mean that your home projects can take on the finish of a retail-quality product.
Here are some of the many features you can expect if you choose the XL2600I:
- 25 built-in stitches
- 800 stitches per minute
- Lightweight machine at just 11 pounds
- Quick change presser feet
- Buttonhole maker (1-step automatic)
- Needle threading system
- Drop-in top bobbin is jam resistant
- Easy stitch selector dial
- Stitch length dial
- Work area is brightly lit
- Thread cutter
There are 5 different, snap-on presser feet with the Brother. These hold your fabric in place while you are sewing. They also apply pressure on the material so that the feed dogs stay in contact and the fabric moves forward.
- Button sewing
- Blind stitch
- Narrow hemmer
In addition to these presser feet, you will also enjoy a few accessories. A needle pack, twin needle, screwdriver, spool pin and darning plate make up the usual freebies thrown in by Brother. All of them can be nicely stored in the free arm.
For most projects, the General Purpose foot is perfect. Sometimes, though, you will want to move the material in a specified direction - when buttonholing, for example - so the small but adequate selection helps you to accomplish this goal.
The dial tension control helps to minimize thread bunching and jamming. Experiment with this feature and you will soon find the correct tension without a fuss.
The feed dog assists with fabric control. It has 6 segments and is equipped to deal with a range of materials.
By removing the cover plate, free-arm sewing is a breeze. This allows you to put pant legs or sleeves under the needle with consummate ease.
Many users have reported that for its overall ease of use, the Brother is great for teaching children to sew with. Some have said that kids as young as 8 can get up and running with no serious difficulty.
Whether you are a beginner or a professional, there is no denying that the 1-step buttonhole system makes an awkward task very straightforward. The 4-step needs some practice to master. With this easy automatic system, though, simply set the correct hole size, attach the buttonhole foot and then allow it to do its job.
All sewing machines have their good and bad points. The Brother is no exception so investigate some of these issues here:
- Extremely quiet when in use
- Very easy to get started
- Feature-rich for an entry-level machine
- Diverse range of stitches
- See-through window to bobbin helps you see how much thread is left
- Drop-in bobbin is top-loading
- 1-step buttonhole system
- Simple to thread
- Much cheaper than most alternatives
- No adjustment for presser foot pressure
- Tension dial can be awkward to operate
- Plastic material not so durable
- No carrying case provided
The thread spindle is somewhat limited. It can only handle smaller spools. Some users have developed a hack for this by taping chopsticks to the spindle!
There is no carrying case provided with the Brother so if you will be taking your machine to sewing classes and back then consider investing in a separate case for this purpose.
The usual 25 year limited warranty pretty much standard with sewing machines is provided. As always, note the restrictions in place. It's only the shafts and rods on the machine head which are covered for this time period. Parts are labor are good for 1 year after purchase. The electronic pattern control as well as the selection components - but parts only, not labor - are covered for 2 years.
Whatever your needs, the Brother XL2600I is the perfect solution. For general sewing, decorating, quilting or home fashion projects, this machine copes well with everything you throw at it.
If you are investigating the purchase of your first machine then the XL2600I is a smart choice. It's simple to use like much less complicated model but possesses the variety to work well beyond starter projects. Do not be tricked into believing that such a low price means it's strictly a beginners only machine.
It's lightweight yet fast and powerful. The Brother XL2600I is, for the money, among the best mini sewing machines and makes for a very versatile and rewarding experience.
In essence, the Brother XL2600I contains all that you will need from a sewing machine except for the fabric and thread!