Pros: lightweight and easy to set up, speed control allows you peace of mind, comes with a multitude of accessories, electronic features = precise settings, easy access below the plate = service yourself, presser foot must be down to sew = safety, a well-built durable machine, the manual is informative + packed full of tips, graphs + pictures on the machine help when needed, the price is hard to beat!!!!
Cons: a longer neck would be nice for bigger projects, our local stores bring them in only once a year!
Model Number: XR1355
"For 2 solid years now, the XR1355 model has been our most reliable, user-friendly machine option both personally and professionally. Even before this model, we've purchased the Costco XR1300, XR4040 and XR6060 machines and used them for 4 total years now in our manufacturing workshop and teaching studio.
At our sewing studio, we've been teaching all of our youth + adult students on the XR1355 because of its ease in getting to know its features and its multitude of capabilities. After testing out several different Singers and Brothers of all ages that were donated to our organization, the XR series, the XR1355 in particular, is by far, the best machine to learn on and use for simple to intricate, day-to-day use. We've done almost everything on it from teaching 6 year olds how to sew to hemming jeans to making a few hundreds blankets and a few hundred vinyl bags and sewing a silk wedding dress.
The computerized features of the XR1355 allow every student to identify exactly what settings they're using by looking in one area. The visual graphs + labels on the machine serve as good reminders when anyone forgets how to thread their machine or wind their bobbin. The automatic threader takes some getting used to, but once you've got it, you'll be in love with this feature. Most notably, there are 2 critical safety features on this machine that allow us to teach young students in group settings. Without them, we couldn't bare the risk.
1) The Speed Control. There is a slider directly to the left of the LCD screen that allows one to sew as quickly as, but no faster than, the speed at which he/she has set this. With so much going on while sewing, it can be hard for some to control the pressure they apply to the foot pedal. So having this set at the speed they're most comfortable at, allows them to focus their attention on things other than their foot. 2) ERROR 1: This machine WILL NOT sew when the presser foot is up, and thanks to this feature, I'm sure we've saved many projects and fingers from disaster. When you accidentally or intentionally hit the foot pedal while the presser foot is raised, an E1 message will flash on the LCD screen, indicating this error. We simply lower the presser foot, then the machine will sew as planned.
When set up properly, the Brother XR1355 sews so smoothly that we almost instantly know when something's wrong. Within the first few stitches, we know to troubleshoot these 4 classic problems: 1) Is the top thread tail too short, leaving it susceptible to getting knotted down in the machine plate? 2) Has the top thread fallen off of the silver Thread Take-up lever? 3) Has the bobbin been inserted in the wrong direction? 4) Is there a large collection of dust under the machine plate, around the bobbin, keeping the threads from flowing smoothly with each stitch? 9 times out of 10, our issues get solved with this troubleshoot list and we can go on sewing as planned.
We know that sewing can be an investment of time, money and space, so we always recommend having our students try out the machines we have at our studio and if they love the way it works, THEN they should go and buy them. 6-7 out of every 10 new students of ours love it and have purchased this machine after completing their beginners' course (or the previously carried XR1300). It's really a great buy for all of these reasons and more!! Please send more to O'ahu, Costco!"
Pros: features, price, strong, quiet, easy to use, lots of extras
"The person that taught be about sewing always buys the expensive brands. This person has a $1500.00 Husquavarna sewing machine and a Juki serger, both which I have used (and seen being used) and both of which I am not at all impressed with after buying my Brother 1034D serger (purchased elsewhere) and this machine. This machine is an amazing find for the price! In fact, I never imagined that on my budget I would be able to own such a nice machine with so many features. As with my serger, this machine is easy to use and is a value power house. The stitches are beautiful and offer a wide variety. The feet that come with the machine include: zigzag, button hole, overcasting, monogramming, zipper, blind stitch and button fitting foot. The machine also has a twin needle (which was a great surprise) and has other features such as speed selector, hand control and it is super easy to thread. Beyond the amazing features this machine has, it truthfully is a wonderfully fine tuned and strong machine that eases through all sewing projects that I have thrown at it. The motor is strong and capable and the stitches are even and strong. I sew a lot of spandex and my old machine cold never get the tension right causing the stitches to bunch and be loose, but not this machine. Brother is my new go to brand which I will stick with forever. I can't believe I wasted money on my first junky Singer rather then buying a Brother. I highly suggest this exceptional value machine to anyone that sews."
"This machine is nothing but frustration. I got error messages every time I did something. I don't need a computer on my sewing machine. I wanted a good, sturdy easy to use machine and found that the bad reviews about this machine were absolutely correct. I took it back ad ordered the SInger 5532 heavy duty machine, which is everything I wanted and needed. I have sewn for 48 years now and certainly know how to use any machine, but the Brother is nothing but another computerized thing to break down. The Singer 5532 is much better, made of better sturdy materials and does everything and more that a person needs for basic sewing functions. I had high hopes for the Brother but it is not worth all the delicate handling it needs and jammed up a lot as well as the tension just couldn't be set right on any of the fancy stitching as well as the button holes."
"I bought this about a year and a half ago. When I first started using it, it was great! I was new to sewing and this looked awesome, and had all these features! But, after bringing it out the third time (It may have only had one hour of mileage on it), my thread got tangled. I fixed it. Used it again and it worked fine. Then, I put it away for a long while since I didn't need it. When I brought it back out to sew, the thread stopped catching. I tried to open it up and see what the problem was, but there didn't appear to be any. Thought I was having a bad day, and put it away again. After trying to use it 2 more times, I gave up, because something was wrong with the bobbin, thread-needle catcher. I had to return this. I may try to buy another one, or I may just wait to save up money for a more expensive one. You get what you pay for right?"
Pros: the lcd display, stitch selection threader bobbin winder, accessories (so many), ease of use
Model Number: XR1300 Brother
"I love it!! I received this as a birthday present this past September, and have made so many things from aprons, Halloween costumes to quilts. I love the ease of use, the LCD display, the variety of stitches, all of the accessories, and above all the quality of the machine. I learned the love of sewing from my mother, who always had a Singer. But now that I have a Brother, I will never go back. I am so pleased with the quality of this machine. what I love about the machine is its consistency in its performance. No matter what item I am making, what type of fabric I am using, what stitch I have chosen, it performs beautifully. The stitch work is precise, and the tension is perfect, thus the end result looks great. I have bragged about this machine to many friends and relatives. My next purchase is going to be a Brother Serger, can't wait!"
"I am by no means an expert sewer. This is my persona review. I have been sewing as a hobby for over 25 years and have had two other sewing machines in the past. While this one looks nice being all computerized - it just keeps jamming up. This is the second of the same machine that i purchased from Costco. The first one kept doing the same thing. Jam. Try & pull the material out from the bobbin area. take machine apart. re-do thread & bobbin.... REPEAT! I should have just bought a different machine after the first but figured there was just something wrong with it. I have never had a problem like this before i bought this machine.
And I have to say that after reading the review today on-line & I see some others have very similar problems - I dont feel like im doing something wrong. Would not buy another Brother."
"So disappointed... I've been sewing for about 12 years, had a cheap learner singer machine that bit the dust not too long ago. I read the reviews on this machine and knew that Brother is a best selling brand, the price was right so I thought I would give it a try. Got it out and was so excited to make some window treatments with this cute fabric I bought, thank goodness I practiced on some scrap fabric I had because this machine wouldn't give me a straight stitch! I know what you are thinking, user error ;) ha ha, but no, even going as slow as possible and meticulously following the line, the entire seam was all over the place, it looked awful. It seems like fabric feeder shakes so much it can't possibly turn out a straight stitch. It's going back! I'm so heartbroken, I had high hopes for this machine :("
"I have been sewing for 25+ years and have used sewing machine for a long time. I purchased this machine thinking it was a great buy and stupidly sold my machine. It looks great but when you begin to use it, you realize every part is made of plastic and very cheap. For example the spool holder sticks 2 inches from machine and if by mistake you bump into it because it protrudes, it will break. Fabric got jammed in the first hour and I had to open the bobbin plate to get the fabric out. The LED display is so sensitive that it changes if you even get close to it. All my previous machines were solid metal. Good luck finding even 1 metal part. It does not come with a case. The accessory box is a awful pullout desing with a flimsy platic attachment. It it breaks you will be out of a working space on the machine"
"I finally saved up enough money to purchase my very own sewing machine, so I was very thorough on finding the best for my price range. I bought the singer sew mate and did not like it so I returned it and purchased this one. The Brother runs very smooth, is quiet, does not skip stitches (like the one I returned), has a bright led light, can be used without the foot pedal (did not even know that was possible), has an awesome bobbin feature that allows you to see it and winds up with ease, the presser feet change out so easy and fast, the needle stays down after your done so your material does not shift, self threading, you do not have to fish for the bobbin thread, can control the sewing speed, and I am sure I can go on and on. Long story short, good buy."
Pros: easy to use, versatile, inexpensive, lots of options
Cons: tension can be difficult
Model Number: XR 1355
"I started sewing when I was young and became pretty talented with it. I then dropped the hobby for about 10 years. I finally decided to pick it up again and searched for hours to find the perfect machine. I decided to buy this one because of the brand, all the features, and because of the price. It had everything I wanted without a large price tag. I also chose to buy it from Costco because their price was $100+ less than other stores and online sites. The shipping was cheap and fast as well. As for the machine, it works great. Everything is easy to use and well explained in the manual. The only issue I have had is sometimes the tension is hard to get right but after a little time I can make it work."
"I've been sewing for 20 plus years, and have used many different brands and models. This sewing machine seemed like an amazing deal and so I purchased this, but I am so disappointed. LED lit work area is not very bright, It vibrates a lot and was giving uneven stitches; my husband who knows nothing of sewing, even noticed this. Thrice fabric got stuck in the feed, and I had to unscrew it every time to remove the fabric; that is when I packed it back in its box without completing what I was doing. My fabric got damaged from it. I shall return this. Had it worked properly, with all the features and stitches it offers, I would have called it a great deal; Unfortunately, it was too good to be true!"
"I purchased this machine at the store last year, kind of on a whim as I was interested in getting a small machine to take to classes. I was originally going to get a small Janome that was 3 times the price of this machine, glad I saw this one though as it is excellent for my needs.
It's motor is very even and strong, stitches are wonderful, I've tested them all but mainly just use the straight and zigzig, and occasionally the free motion quilting mode.
I'll be taking her on vacation this year when we go to our cabin, it's the perfect size/weight for a travel machine.
Between Costco & Brother's warranties to make things right if they go wrong, you cannot beat this machine for the price."
"I have a 35 year old machine that just keeps on sewing. This one at first was a dream because I thought it had so many great different stitches.....but when I tried sewing a knit the fabric got sucked into machine more than once. It is skipping stitches, even after I changed the needle and cleaned out the bobbin area... 3x. It will sew in the same spot tangling the thread instead of giving an error, I think when bobbin is low? All in all I am very disappointed. I'd like a machine that does a few more stitches than my old one. If you get a new machine don't throw your old one out.... Much better made years ago. I didn't want to return this but can't live with skipped stitches."
Pros: price, features, quailty of embrodiery, user friendly
Cons: this is an embroidery only machine.
Model Number: PE700II
"I am new to machine embroidery. I can tell you from the very start I loved this machine. From the needle treading feature to the way the finished embroidery piece looks, this is a wonderful machine. I carefully read reviews on far more expensive machines and less expensive machines. This model has a lot of features found on the more expensive models, it is very user friendly, the embroidery is extremely clean and professional looking. I have not had any problems or complains with this model. I would highly recommend this model to family, friends, or anyone who are either beginner or advanced embroiderers."
"I bought this machine as a backup to my more expensive Baby Lock quilter machine. After several days of using it, I'd say it's an excellent machine for all sorts of sewing projects. I haven't tested the quilting options yet. But this feels sturdier than previous Brother machines I've had, and it's definitely a good buy for all the features you get. The needle threader works fine after you play with it a few times. This Brother is a great machine for a beginner or an advanced sewer on a budget."
Pros: easy to thread upper and lower., very responsive, monogram feature, 130 stiches....
Cons: haven't found it yet
Model Number: XR1355
"This is an acceptable machine for general sewing. My G'daughter expressed an interest in learning so I bought this for her. We have done a lot with it and are enjoying ourselves. I watched the DVD and am glad I did. It made the threading and bobbin so easy... even though it's extremely easy compared to anything I've ever had. My sister has a retail sewing machine store and some of the Vikings retail for $11,000+. For under $200 and with a Costco guarantee - this is a winner."
Pros: you can learn to free motion monogram, so easy to use for sewing or quilting, can be used like a serger!, ajust lenght & width & you have 130 + stiches!, i am handicapped & i can enjoy sewing again!
Cons: wish it had built in monograming stiches.
Model Number: XR1300
"So easy to use. I have Multiple Sclerosis & love that I can push button sew instead of using presser foot! This machine does everything. Can't believe that ANYONE could give this a bad rating! The price is awesome for such a high quality machine. Don't miss out on this machine. My Sister has always bought a singer, but after hearing me rave over this machine, she went out and bought a Brother! This machine put the fun back into sewing."
"I've only had the machine for a couple weeks, but it went straight to work right out of the box and hasn't given me any trouble. I have sewn through 4-6 layers of denim (while going over seams, etc.) and it does great. The bobbin threading system is so easy. For the price, I love all the features that come on this machine and the extras such as the quilting table and quilting foot."
"Like so many other reviewers I too have been sewing for 30+ years. Always had a Bernina, but my ol' faithful finally wore out. I bought the Brother machine because it was cheap and I needed something fast to get me thru a huge project. I have ended up loving this machine and have decided to purchase the Brother serger from Costco as well. I'm a convert to the Brother product."