Brother XL3500I Review

Brother XL3500I is a decent quality entry level sewing machine. But it is not a machine without limitations. It has been on the scene for too long.

Brother XL3500I Main Features

  • 35 built-in stitches
  • 1-step buttonhole
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Top drop-in bobbin

Brother XL3500I Review

Sewing Machine Reviews Recommendation Level : LOW

XL3500I is very similar to Brother XL3750. The later is an excellent sewing machine that received very good feedback from its users. Let us see whether XL3500I lives up to our expectations. Brother XL3500I has 35 built-in stitches. The stitches also include a 1-step buttonhole, which is a beginners’ favorite. 73 stitch functions are available on the machine. The machine features an automatic needle threader to save eye strain. Top drop-in bobbin with a clear cover is a boon for beginners.

Brother XL3500I, being a mechanical sewing machine, stitch selection is done by turning the dial. Separate controls are provided for adjusting stitch length and width. Tension can be adjusted by turning the dial. The machine is free arm convertible for sewing cuffs and sleeves. An automatic bobbin winding system is on board. The machine can be adjusted for twin needle sewing for decorative stitches. The 6-point feed system ensures consistent fabric feeding. To do free-motion sewing, you can drop the feed dogs as well.

Brother XL3500I belongs to the category of lightweight sewing machines. It weighs just 12 pounds. There is a built-in carrying handle, which adds to portability. A manual thread cutter is provided on the side. A bulb illuminates the work space. The machine has a pretty powerful motor capable of delivering 800 stitches/min. An accessory storage compartment is built-in. The machine comes with 25 year limited warranty as well. It also comes with an extension table, so that you can work on large projects with ease. It comes with a dust cover as well.


Brother XL3500I has very good stitch quality which was also the hallmark of Brother XL3750 which is this machine’s direct competitor (You can sense a sibling rivalry here). There is enough variety of stitches for you to grow your skills. The availability of a walking foot is a real bonus. The machine is very very easy to thread (one of the easiest), you won’t have any trouble there.The machine is mostly plastic on the outside, but the build quality is quite acceptable. It is not a toy at all.


Buttonhole sewing can be tricky for beginners, as it requires some practice to get it work the way you want. The instructions are somewhat incomplete in that section. The instruction manual needs some improvement.

Even though the stitch quality is good on medium-lightweight fabrics, it struggles with multiple layers of thick fabrics (this machine is not designed for thick fabrics either).

Brother XL3500I is too old. Even the Brother XL3750 has been updated with a new version.


  • Easy to thread
  • Good stitch quality
  • Lightweight
  • Decent build quality


  • Not easy to sew buttonhole
  • User manual needs improvement
  • Not great on thick fabrics
  • Old model

Is It Worth Buying?

Overall, I am okay with what Brother XL3500I has to offer. But it is a pretty old model. It is already, more than 10 years old. So I would recommend a newer model over this one. Here I am talking about the Brother XR3774 which has already set the sales chart on fire. It comes with a similar price tag and has 2 more stitches than XL3500I. I think, you will be better of going with a new model rather than an old model as you may have some trouble finding the accessories for the older one.

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