Brother Sewing Machine – is it worth it?

You may be looking into purchasing your very first sewing machine. Or you might be at a stage where you are looking into purchasing your next sewing machine. Wherever you are into your sewing journey, I am sure you have come across many sewing machine brands – Brother, Janome, Singer, Pfaff, Bernina, just to name a few.

Do you feel that there are too many to choose from? Would you like to hear about my very first machine that I ever bought? I am confident that this review of my XL2120 Brother sewing machine will give you some first-hand experience about this brand.

Why did I choose a Brother sewing machine?

When I was choosing my very first sewing machine, honestly speaking I didn’t have a clue what I was looking at. Definitely cost came into consideration, and I found the Brother machine priced very competitively compared to similar counterparts.

With that in mind, I then started comparing specification and realized that the Brother XL2120 seemed to be an ideal beginner sewing machine. All I was looking for was a machine that could sew a straight stitch and zigzag stitch, as I really wanted to sew some curtains for our house.

The specific Brother model offered all of that and within no time my first pair of curtains was hanging in my bedroom! Since the experience was such a pleasure, after completing this project I decided to venture further into the magical world of sewing.

What is the machine capable of?

Little did I know at the time that my Brother XL2120 would serve for so many years to come! The now discontinued model is still going strong as if it was brand new, which speaks a lot about its make, quality and reliability.

The features of the machine that sounded attractive to me at the time of purchase were as follows:

  • choice of eight built-in stitches (including a 4-step buttonholer and elastic stitch)
  • option of free arm sewing for all narrow garments and difficult to get to places
  • capability of using a twin needle and double thread for two-color sewing and knit fabrics
  • top-loaded bobbin (as opposed to a side-loaded bobbin) – this was an important feature to me as my Grandmother always had difficulty using a side-loaded bobbin. At the time I couldn’t judge myself, so I liked the sound of an easier bobbin loading option. Having said that, with time I did use side-loaded bobbins very successfully!

On the other hand I guess this machine might have limitations, for example with regard to stitch length and width. There are only a few settings for the straight stitch and you need to use what is already in the machine. You don’t have the possibility of defining the exact stitch parameters that you have in mind. However, having said that, hundreds of projects down the line this has never limited or stopped me from sewing the planned items.

Is it sufficient for my needs?

With time and use, my sewing skills were improving and with that came more demand from the machine from my side. Firstly, I started exploring the sewing of clothes and the use of knit fabrics, with which came the need for a double thread. When I looked into my Brother manual, I realized that this was absolutely doable, even on my beginner’s machine. All I had to do was insert a double needle and add an extra thread spool – job done!

Another area that I ventured into fairly recently was freestyle embroidery, which I absolutely love due to its versatility and option for personalizing my sewing. I really wanted to learn this to give my projects an extra special touch for my recipients.

How surprised was I to realize that all I need is a freestyle motion sewing machine foot and ……… my very basic sewing machine! So after the purchase of the specific foot, my good old machine is still serving me with freestyle embroidery.

Until this day I did not reach a stage thinking that I should be replacing the machine with something more complex. I am years into sewing with literally hundreds of projects complete and my beginner machine has become a super special friend to me.

What about other brands?

It is definitely worth considering having a look at other brands, too. There are a few brands out there that would not have existed over all the years, if it was not for their quality, reliability and ease of use and Brother definitely falls into this category with its long history in the world of sewing machines.

As with any purchase, it is definitely worth having an idea as to what competition has on offer.

I guess it is like with anything really – you get used to what you have always known! I certainly will continue having a soft spot for Brother, however this is thanks to the performance of these machines that I had over the years. Not a single time in my sewing career did I have an issue with any of my Brother machines. Bearing in mind that these are very much mechanical machines, it just shows how well they are built.

So would I recommend a Brother sewing machine?

Absolutely no doubt about it! In fact, because I always had such good experiences with my very first Brother, I later on went to purchase another one, with an electronic display. Then, two years ago, I also purchased a Brother overlocker, which similarly as my very first sewing machine, has been an absolute pleasure to use.

Therefore, from my very own personal experience, I would definitely recommend the quality, reliability and ease of use of a Brother sewing machine. The brand has stood up to its name several times in my sewing life!

How about your experience with the purchase and use of your own machine? Please share your own thoughts and experiences if you already bought one in the past, I will be delighted to hear!

Happy sewing!


One thought on “Brother Sewing Machine – is it worth it?

  1. Hilary

    Thank you for the recommendation, Monika! I bought my first beginner machine a little while ago, and while I haven’t had too much time to use it, I look forward to getting to know it well. My mother always said that she learned her machine so well, she could tell by any noise what was wrong with it. I purchased a cheaper Singer machine, but I’ll definitely look into a Brother in the future. You noted that they were more mechanical – are the pieces metal or plastic, and how often do you do the maintenance like oiling? Thank you!

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