The world of crafting has changed a lot in recent years. The constant influx of new technologies on the craft market means that sewing machines are becoming more and more sophisticated and craft-specific.
This is great for those needlecrafters with specific niches, such as intricate embroidery or heavy-duty quilting. However, it’s less convenient for those whose work encompasses a variety of sewing techniques.
Brother’s XR3340 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine emerged onto the market a couple of years ago, and since then, many customers have reported being satisfied and impressed with the machine’s advanced features and multifunctionality. This machine features an impressive range of sewing stitches, along with multiple quilting functions and accessories for both styles of sewing. Functions are also built-in and accessories are included for basic monogramming.
Today, we’ll be reviewing the Brother XR3340 in detail, sizing up its features, and providing an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of this model. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll be confident as to whether or not this is the sewing machine for you!
One of our favorite features of the Brother XR3340 is the extra-large black screen LCD display.
This display allows the user to view selected stitches and settings on the screen. It can even indicate which presser foot should be used for any given stitch!
One of the best things about this LCD display is how easy it is on the eyes due to the screen color. Sewing can put a lot of strain on the eyes, so the comfortable light level of this screen is a welcome addition to the machine as a whole.
The Brother XR3340 includes no less than 140 built-in stitches, from basic running and zig-zag stitches to 8 buttonhole stitches.
These stitches can be selected using the intuitive buttons surrounding the LCD display with the help of the diagrams included on the front of the machine which provide the numerical combinations and codes for 99 stitches.
While this machine is not suitable for executing complicated or intricately detailed embroidery designs, it is ideal for simple monogramming, as indicated by the range of alphanumeric stitches built into it.
55 alphanumeric stitches are built into the Brother XR3340 for basic monogram work. This is ideal for embroidery beginners since monogramming is a great first step into the embroidery world.
Simple monograms also look striking and appealing on a variety of products, from quilts to cushion covers, so this feature is sure to enhance any needlecrafter’s work!
Although a foot pedal is provided with the XR3340 machine model, the speed of stitching can also be adjusted using the onboard keys.
Having two methods of controlling stitch speed is extremely convenient since it means you can always keep both hands free for guiding your work when necessary whilst also having the option of selecting a speed more precisely.
Not only can the speed of the needle be controlled using these keys, but the position of the needle is also adjustable through the onboard settings, so you can easily lift your needle out of the way or position it back down whenever you need to. The machine itself can also be turned on and off in this way.
Pedal control versus onboard control forms the basis of a long-standing debate amongst the sewing community as to which type of machine is the best or most effective. Because Brother has provided both forms of control with the XR3340, this machine is likely to be well suited to all sewing machine users, regardless of which type of machine they are used to and which kind of controls they favor.
Ultimately, the dual control enabled by the combination of the pedal and the key settings gives the user complete control over the functioning of the machine. This is likely both to improve the quality of work produced and create a more enjoyable, stress-free sewing experience.
Quilters everywhere will rejoice at Brother’s free-motion sewing function, included in this machine as well as a range of other Brother models.
This function allows the user to drop the feed dogs that grip the material during sewing, eliminating any restriction of movement. Once the feed dogs have been dropped, a free range of motion is enabled. This means that the machine’s user can maneuver the fabric through the machine as they please, creating any number of unique patterns and quilting designs.
For sewing beginners, using a machine can seem like a daunting prospect. This is often partly due to the complexity of setting the machine up for use, including threading the needle, which requires many more steps on a machine than with a handheld needle.
However, this isn’t a concern with the XR3440. The advanced needle threading system allows the user to thread the needle from the bobbin using the lever on the side of the machine. This feature makes threading the needle a much quicker, easier, and smoother process.
Complete beginners to machine sewing will quickly get the hang of this convenient system while advanced crafters will be able to dedicate more time to directly working on their projects than struggling with the setup.
One of the most common inconveniences that machine-quilters face on a regular basis is lack of space. Traditionally, the table areas built into sewing machines don’t allow a lot of room for handling thick quilting material, leading to inconvenient and uncomfortable working conditions.
Brother’s XR3340 model solves this problem with its extra-wide table extension, which clips into the machine to expand your workspace. The extension table is adjustable, so it can be moved into a more comfortable and space-efficient position when required.
Alternatively, the table extension can also be removed when it isn’t needed, so you never need to have any unwanted obstacle between you and your work.
If you’ve ever tried sewing in poor light, whether by hand or using a machine, you’ll know how much of a pain - literally and figuratively - it can be. When using a machine, sewing in inadequate lighting is now only frustrating but also dangerous.
That’s why we really appreciate Brother’s incorporation of bright LED lighting above the worktable of this machine. This feature means that you can always enjoy direct lighting on your work for better accuracy and, of course, safety.
As an additional testament to this machine’s multifunctionality, Brother has included a selection of 10 presser feet with the purchase of the XR3340. The presser feet provided include a quilting foot, spring action zig-zag foot, zipper foot, monogramming foot, hemmer foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, ¼-inch foot, blindstitch foot, and an overcasting foot.
As you can see from this extensive list, Brother has included a presser foot for almost any occasion and eventuality made possible with this machine, so you’ll never need to worry about purchasing a presser foot separately for any project.
Of course, as with the majority of sewing machines, you’ll need a power cord to get this machine up and running. The XR3340 comes with a power cord included so you can start using your new machine straight out of the box.
The only unfortunate thing about this cord is that it only measures 5 ft in length. Whilst this isn’t an outrageously short cord length, the ease-of-use of this machine could definitely have benefitted from an extra foot of length so as not to restrict the positioning of the machine.
Overall, we’re extremely impressed with what the Brother XR3340 has to offer.
If your craft involves elements of basic sewing, quilting, and monogramming, we highly recommend this model, no matter your level of ability. This machine is easy enough for beginners to use due to the easy threading system and intuitive settings, yet technologically advanced and multifunctional enough to bring the best out of more experienced stitchers too.
The free-motion stitching function allows quilters to exercise the full range of their creativity by creating unique and unrestricted designs. At the same time, the provision of a foot pedal alongside the machine’s intuitive onboard settings puts full, uncompromised control in the hands of the user and ensures that this machine will work well for anyone regardless of the type of controls they prefer.
Moreover, with 10 presser feet and a convenient extension table included, this machine is excellent value for money.
If your work mainly centers around embroidery, however, this probably won’t be the machine for you. Additionally, if you have very limited space or access to power sockets, the cable included with this model may present a problem of restriction.
Otherwise, this is an extremely practical and versatile machine that is perfectly suited to multi-talented needlecrafters of all abilities.