Another addition to Brothers limited addition project runway inspired sewing machines the BrotherXR9500PRW is a great all round sewing machine that excels for making clothes. Its huge range of features and simple design make it a real contender for best sewing machine for beginners, while having something to offer to advanced users. Read my review to find out why it is a great choice for budding designers.
Straight out the box the most notable feature is the size and weight. The XR9500PRW weighs a mere 9.92 lbs with dimensions of 11.45 x 6.69 x 16.02 inches. This is great for beginners taking their machine to sewing classes since it is easy to transport, especially since a hard case is included. In terms of design, it is one of Brother more attractive machines with a clear bright LCD display and some blue panels that standout against the white casing. Along with this is the iconic Project runway logo giving the machine a special touch.
The body shape is sleek and modern with an intuitive layout, giving the user a clear understanding of what does what. Like most Brother sewing machines the XR9500PRW features a great stitch diagram that shows you what each stitch looks like and their corresponding number. After inspection of all the moving parts like the dials and buttons, the quality is clear, everything has a satisfying well-made feel.
The most obvious feature is LCD screen. It is bright and large enough to see without needing to squint. A mistake manufactures make is producing a great computerized sewing machine and adding a screen that is dim and small. Glad to see Brother has not made this mistake. Surrounding the screen are a series of navigation buttons that allow for the stitches to be selected and customized by changing their length and width. A real standout feature of this machine is that it has a monogramming function built in. Its function is basic with only one font but still a huge plus.
There is an automatic needle threader, which is makes using the machine much faster. It is great for accessibility for those that have poor eye sight or dexterity limitations in their hands. On top of this the bobbin is auto winding and jam-resistant adding to smooth experience.
Probably my favorite included feature is the over-sized wide table. A simple addition but not seen on many machines around this price point it adds great variety to what this machine is capable of. For example, quilting is possible on a stand extension table however, after the use of an over-sized table it becomes how much more challenging it is. When sewing sleeves or cuffs the table can be removed, making the free arm available. There is space in the removable extension table to store all of the included accessories and more.
With 100 built in stitches and 140 stitch functions the XR9500PRW offers fantastic variety in what is possible with this machine. There is a plethora of fantastic utility, decorative and heirloom stitches, so where its clothes or quilts you will never be left wanting. For lettering you have the option of 55 built in letters and numbers or the option of using the monogramming functionality.
What really sets this Project Runway edition apart is the range options for making buttonholes. Not only does the XR9500PRW feature a 1-step auto sizing buttonholes there are 8 unique designs to choose from. This adds so much versatility and is one of the main reason it is so fantastic for producing high quality clothing. Setting up to sew a buttonhole isn’t too difficult, similar to what you find on most machines. The process requires a buttonhole presser foot which is included. It is easy to align and the finish was surprisingly robust resulting in a sturdy quality buttonhole.
As mentioned the stitch are selected and customized via the LCD display. Not only is it convenient the machine will recommend the correct presser foot to use with the currently selected stitch. Stitch length and width can also be altered to customize each stitch. Stitch Length can be altered up to 5mm and stitch width can be altered up to a massive 7mm, offering fantastic versatility.
SETUP AND ACCESSORIES
As usual with Brother the setup of this machine is super easy, made even easier by the automatic threader and bobbin winder. As always I recommend diving into the user manual before using the machine. Setup and use is clear explained in both English and Spanish. As well as the manual there are plenty of great accessories that come with the Brother XR9500PRW. The included accessories are:
- 7 Snap-On presser feet
- Accessory pouch with needle set
- Ball point needle
- Set of 3 bobbins
- Dust cover
- Extra spool pin
- Seam ripper
- Cleaning brush
- Spool pin
- Twin needle
- Power cord
All the basics so nothing additional is needed to get started. The 7 included presser feet offer great range of possibilities for various projects. The included presser feet are: buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, monogramming foot, blind stitch foot, zipper foot, zigzag foot, and an overcasting foot. Additional presser feet can be purchased if necessary. At around $20 Brother offer a huge range of that will add extra versatility. Not only that, they are compatible with most Brother machines.
There is no case included. This will not be a problem for many users since the dust cover is enough to keep the machine clean when not in use but for those that wish to sew in different location, like a sewing class, a carry case would definitely be beneficial.
In my performance tests the Brother XR9500PRW definitely surpassed expectations for a machine at his price. After testing a variety of stitches on many different fabrics I found the stitches to be incredibly consistent. Thicker material normally separates high-end machines from cheaper alternatives but the XR9500PRW performed brilliantly. I can confidently say that Brother have produced an affordable machine that performs like a high-end machine that would be twice the price.
Number of Stitches: 100
Stitch Speed: 850
Bobbin Loading: Top
Weight: 13 lbs
Dimensions: 11.45 x 6.69 x 16.02 inches
Included Presser feet: 6
Auto Buttonholes: 8 styles of 1-step Auto sizing
Auto Needle Threading: Yes
Warranty: 25 Years Limited
To conclude this review: the Brother XR9500PRW comes at a bargain price with performance of a sewing machine that costs twice as much. Its ease of use and has fantastic features making it a perfect machine for beginners, while having so much to offer more advanced users who want something affordable.
PROS AND CONS
- Fantastic value
- Lots of great features
- Metal frame
- Great performance
- Simple clean design
- Front Loading Bobbin