Sewing has its perks folks. You can tackle potential clothing mishaps like a popped button or a faux pas like a dropped hem without sweating over it. You only need to dig into your closet to come up with a completely new fashion statement (while you save some money).
If you try hard enough, you can monetize your skills. Not to forget that it can boost concentration and positivity.
The only possible hurdle that beginners often face while learning to sew is the learning curve associated with the tools of the trade, sewing machines.
At SewingInsider we like to divide these machines into two categories, manual machines for the old schoolers and computerized machines for the more tech-inclined sewists.
The Brother XR3774 bridges the gap between the two categories.
This entry-level model offers enough features to impress even a seasoned sewist. But, it does not overwhelm the beginner. It is a well-rounded package with a reasonable price tag that places it at the affordable end of automated machines in the market currently.
Brother XR3774 Key Features
The XR3774 is a compact unit with a minimalistic design that can easily fit into any home or workspace. It weighs less than 13 pounds. So, moving it around home or lugging it along to your classes should be a breeze.
On the design front, it is as beginner-friendly as it can get. There aren’t too many buttons or dials to deal with. Instead, there’s a large manual stitch selection dial surrounded by a bunch of colorful floral motifs. There’s nothing like a dash of color on an otherwise mundane machine, is there?
Threading a needle is as easy as pressing a lever while the drop-in bobbin makes loading effortless. The bobbin has a clear cover which keeps you informed about the time for a refill.
The unit has 37 built-in stitches. We know that’s not a lot. But there are enough varieties of stitches including decorative ones, quilting stitches and blind hems. For beginners, that’s a lot of options to explore.
- Sewing Quality
Despite the innocuous appearance, the XR3774 can sew on multiple layers of quilt fabric and thicker fabrics like denim, faux leather and fleece. The stitch quality is even and consistent.
- Sewing Foot
The machine has a top speed of 800 stitches per minute which can be a tad difficult to manage, especially when you are starting off with sewing. An extra-sensitive sewing foot can only make matters worse. Thankfully, the sewing foot on the unit is not very sensitive. Even beginners will find it easy to control the stitch speed.
- Free Motion Quilting
The XR3774 features an attachable darning plate and a quilting foot that allows free motion quilting. Club this with the large-sized work area and you can easily tackle large projects with ease.
- Extra Accessories
Most automatic machines at this price point come with bare minimum accessories. Specialized feet have to be purchased extra. But this unit comes with 8 extra feet in the package. That includes a Zipper foot, zigzag foot, walking foot, quilting foot, buttonhole foot, blind stitch foot, button sewing foot and narrow hemmer foot. Additionally, you get a set of assorted needles, a semi-hard protective cover to keep the unit free of dust and debris and four bobbins. That’s a neat assorted package that allows you to get started with your sewing right away.
- Ease of Use
Everything from the top-load bobbin to the automated needle threading is aimed at beginners. The XR3774 comes with a detailed instruction manual and an instruction DVD that allows you to get going. Also, being one of the most widely used models in the world, there’s no dearth of support on online forums and communities.
Being an entry-level unit, the XR3774 does have a few limitations. One of these is the automatic tension setting for all stitch types. You cannot adjust the tension yourself. While this does make things easy for beginners, adjusting the tension can be a vital part of your sewing skills as you progress.
Manual tension adjustment can be difficult to adjust to if and when you buy an advanced unit in future.
Also, this isn’t the quietest of machines. Noise isn’t much of a problem for casual sewists. But if you like to quilt late nights, then this might be a problem worth considering.
But, the limitations are only minor and not dealbreakers by a long shot.
The features we liked the most
- Compact lightweight unit
- Minimalistic design
- Manual stitch selector dial
- Automatic needle threading
- Top loading bobbin
- Quilting foot and darning plate for free motion quilting
- Even stitch quality
- 800 SPM top speed
- Wide illuminated work area
- 8 extra feet
- Automatic tension adjustment
- Reasonably priced
To Sum It Up
The Brother XR3774 is a great beginner’s machine. If you are a hobbyist or a casual sewist looking for a reliable machine that is easy to use, then look no further. Can it tackle all fabrics or help you tackle large quilting projects? Probably not! But at this price point, it offers features that rival much higher priced items.
With Brother’s lifetime support and warranty, it’s hard to go wrong with this one. Highly recommended!