One of the most popular sewing machines on the market, the Brother XM2701 is an affordable and exceptionally user-friendly machine. This is an entry-level mechanical sewing machine, but it is not a bare-bones model, with a number of functions and features.
Brother XM2701: an overview
Brother is a huge international brand that makes personal electronic devices from printers and label makers to personal computers. This includes an extensive range of sewing machines, and they are well-known in the industry for their affordable and user-friendly models.
The Brother XM2701 is an inexpensive and user-friendly mechanical sewing machine that is not heavy on functions and features. This is not a high-end or complicated machine, but it doesn’t pretend to be.
It is a basic machine designed for beginners, which is probably why it is one of the most popular machines in Brother’s sewing machine range. The XM2701 is easy to set up straight out of the box, and intuitive to use even if you haven’t touched a sewing machine before.
It has a range of automatic features that make sewing more efficient and allow beginners to focus on developing their skills. These include an automatic bobbin winder, automatic needle threader, thread cutter, and one-step buttonhole.
All of this comes with a very low price tag. Given the low price point, it is perhaps unsurprising that the stitch quality is not as high as more expensive machines, particularly the one-step buttonhole.
However, that being said, for the number of features and benefits it offers great value for money.
What we like:
- Inexpensive – this sewing machine is very affordable, and one of the cheapest models on the market.
- Easy to set up and use – even absolute beginners will be able to install and start using the Brother XM2701.
- Automatic features – functions like an automatic needle threader, automatic bobbin winder, one-step buttonhole, and thread cutter make sewing more efficient.
What we don’t like:
- Average stitch quality – the stitch quality is not as high as other sewing machines.
- Issues with buttonholes – although the one-step buttonhole is easy to use, the buttonholes it produces are not the best quality.
This popular and affordable machine is a good option for beginners, as well as anyone who wants a machine for repairs and basic sewing and quilting projects.
As you may expect, the quality of some stitches and in particular the buttonholes is not up to par with more expensive models.
Although an entry-level machine, the Brother XM2701 is not light on features. It comes with a number of automatic and other functions that make sewing easier and more efficient.
Brother XM2701 review: features & benefits
For a very affordable machine, the Brother XM2701 has a surprising number of features.
Its key features include:
- Built-in stitches – this machine has 27 built-in stitches, including sewing, quilting, and decorative stitches.
- Drop-in bobbin – the XM2701’s bobbin is easy to thread, jam-resistant, and won’t move while you’re sewing.
- One-step buttonhole – this function lets you make a buttonhole in one simple step.
- Automatic needle threader – you can easily thread the needle with the touch of a lever rather than struggling to thread it manually.
- Automatic bobbin winder – the XM2701 makes it easy to wind a nice, tight bobbin.
- Stitch reference chart – printed on the front of the machine, this chart lets you instantly choose the right stitch.
- Six presser feet – the XM2701 comes with a range of presser feet for basic and garment sewing.
Ease of use
This machine is ideal for absolute beginners, being extremely easy to set up and use. Although some people prefer the bells and whistles of a computerized sewing machine, this simple and user-friendly design is perfect for absolute beginners and techno-phobes.
Easy to thread
It is simple to thread: it has an automatic needle threader that works well and the bobbin is super easy to install.
The automatic needle threader works with the touch of a lever on the side of the machine. This allows you to quickly and easily thread the machine without struggling to thread it manually, which is particularly handy for beginners.
This makes a world of difference particularly to beginner sewists, as incorrectly threading your machine is one of the main causes of sewing machine problems. Thus many issues can be avoiding through properly threading your machine, and the XM2701 makes this easy to do!
The machine is equipped with a drop-in bobbin that is easy to use, helping even novice sewists to thread the machine without any issues. Furthermore, the bobbin is jam-resistant as well as supported by Brother’s Quick-Set technology, making sure the bobbin doesn’t move while you’re sewing.
All of this helps to avoid common sewing machine problems related to the bobbin, such as birds’ nests, skipped stitches, and thread jamming. You’ll also be able to quickly and easily wind the bobbin with the XM2701’s automatic bobbin winder.
Another common bugbear is bobbin winding, and the Brother XM2701 also performs well in this area. It is easy to wind a bobbin using the machine’s automatic bobbin winder.
Furthermore, the machine consistently winds a nice, tight bobbin that will set you up for success and help you to avoid issues like birds’ nests which can occur when the bobbin is not wound properly.
The Brother XM2701’s design is intuitive and has directions printed directly on the machine, meaning that even complete beginners can sit down and sew pretty much straight away. Particularly handy is the stitch chart that is engraved on the front of the machine allowing you to instantly choose the right stitch.
You can then select the stitch of your choice by turning the dial conveniently-located on the front of the machine directly under the stitch chart. Stitch length, width, and upper thread tension are also easily adjusted with dials along the top of the machine.
Other ease-of-use features
The Brother XM2701 has an automatic one-step buttonhole that is easy to use and allows even novice sewists to quickly make a buttonhole with the minimum of fuss. All you need to do is install the included buttonhole foot and the machine does the rest!
It has a built-in LED light that illuminates the work area and is well-positioned so you won’t have to worry about it casting shadows while you work. This lets you clearly see your work, and is particularly useful when sewing dark-colored threads on similarly dark fabric.
However, some reviewers say that this light is a little dim and is not as bright as other machines.
The XM2701 also has a thread cutter on the side, allowing you to quickly cut your thread tails while you work.
The Brother XM2701 comes with 27 built-in stitches and a range of accessories, including six presser feet. This allows you to work with different fabrics and sewing techniques, from garment making to home décor projects.
The 27 built-in stitches will cover the needs of most beginners, as well as many more experienced sewists. These include basic sewing stitches as well as decorative and quilting stitches.
The XM2701 comes with six sewing feet to cover a range of fabrics and sewing techniques, including a zipper foot, a buttonhole foot, a button sewing foot, and a narrow hemming foot.
Although capable of executing a range of projects, this machine is best suited to basic sewing projects and mending garments.
On the downside, some online reviewers say that the stitch quality, particularly the zigzag stitches and buttonhole, is not up to par with more expensive machines. Some users say that the Brother XM2701’s buttonhole has very thin sides and the bar tacks don’t look very good.
You’ll probably be able to improve the stitch quality by adjusting the settings and tension control. However, this is not ideal for a machine designed for beginners, as novice sewists don’t need the extra pressure of having to fiddle with settings as they work!
This is an affordable machine that has a low price tag especially compared to the number of built-in stitches and included presser feet. However, a slightly bigger investment would likely get you a much better machine with higher stitch quality.
The Brother XM2701 is a small and light weight machine, weighing in a just over 15 pounds. This makes it easy to take with you to sewing class or sewing bees.
The small size and light weight is also handy for anyone that doesn’t have a dedicated sewing space, as the machine is easy to bring out to sew and pack away again when you’re finished for the day.
Alternatives to Brother XM2701
Brother offers a number of beginner-friendly and affordable mechanical sewing machines. This includes not only the XM2701 but also the GX37.
So how do these two compare?
Brother XM2701 vs Brother GX37
The Brother GX37 is a much newer model than the XM2701, but they are comparable machines with a similar list price. However, the GX37 does boast a few more features and functions.
The GX37 has more built-in stitches, with 37 distinct stitches compared to the XM2701’s 27. It also offers a slightly greater range of stitch width and length, with a maximum 5mm stitch length, and 6mm stitch width, while the XM2701 has a maximum 4mm stitch length and 5mm width.
The GX37 is also a couple of pounds lighter than the XM2701, and a slightly faster sewing speed, with 850 stitches per minute against the XM2701’s 800 stitches per minute.
The Brother XM2701 is a good choice for beginners who want a basic machine to use as they learn how to sew. Similarly, if you want a very affordable mechanical sewing machine for basic sewing and mending, the XM2701 could be for you.
If you’re willing to spend a little more, you could consider a more complex machine that will grow with you as your skills develop.
Check out our round up of best sewing machines for beginners for more easy to use options and go ahead to share this article with your networks!