How to use your new Brother XL2600i sewing machine

Need help with your new Brother XL2600i sewing machine?

If you need some help with setting up and using your brand new Brother XL2600i sewing machine, you’ll find it in this tutorial.

Maybe you’ve misplaced your manual or you just find video demonstrations more helpful. I’ve rounded up the manual and the best YouTube videos for the Brother XL2600i showing how to set it up, how to wind the bobbin and how to thread the machine.

Also included are videos for basic sewing: seams, sleeves, zippers, buttons and gathering. Finally, I share five of my favorite sewing tips as an experienced seamstress and dollmaker.

Setting up your new Brother sewing machine

View the manual for the Brother XL2600i sewing machine

All the instructions you need for setting up your new Brother XL2600i sewing machine are included in the manual. For your convenience I’ve included a link to the PDF file:

Brother XL2600i sewing machine manual

For video demonstrations, please continue below.

How to wind the bobbin of the Brother XL2600i demonstrated by novice seamstress Natalie Mootz

Loading the bobbin on the Brother XL2600i sewing machine, a YouTube video by Natalie Mootz

Threading the machine and using the automatic needle threader on the Brother XL2600i, an easy to follow video demo by Natalie Mootz

How to bring up the bobbin thread on the Brother XL2600i, demonstrated by YouTuber Natalie Mootz

You’re all set up and ready to sew!

Using your new Brother XL2600i for the first time

Now that your sewing machine is threaded, you’re ready for sewing.

What I like to do when I get a new sewing machine is to make test swatches of all the stitches. This is a fast way to get familiar with your machine.

Get a long strip of scrap fabric, select a stitch and sew for a couple of inches. Select the next stitch and sew again for a couple more inches, and so on. You can keep this swatch for future reference.

I also like to test out the buttonhole feature just to see how it works. When it comes time to actually do a buttonhole on a real project, you want to make sure to make a test buttonhole using a scrap from the fabric you’re working on. After you make your sample buttonhole, open it up and make sure the button goes through it easily. Sometimes you need to make adjustments to the buttonhole depending on how thick or thin the fabric is.

Five tips for general sewing

  1. Always lock your stitches by backstitching at the beginning and end of every seam. That way your seams won’t accidentally pull apart.
  2. Use sewing pins with a round head on the end. They’re easier to remove and easier to see.
  3. Use a seam ripper to hold down the fabric while sewing. If I need to hold down a seam really close to the presser foot, I use the tip of my seam ripper to guide the fabric instead of my finger. That way I can get really close to the needle without getting my finger in the way.
  4. For a professional look when sewing denim, use 30 weight cotton thread in the bobbin and top thread. Make sure to use the right size needle too.
  5. If you’re having trouble sewing over thick seams, or jumping the hump, raise up the back of your presser foot with a piece of folded cardboard or a Jean-a-ma-jig tool. Make sure to go slow over the seam.

My favorite sewing tool of all time for fast precision snipping

I couldn’t sew without my thread snips

One thing I can’t stand is to have thread tails all over a garment, and these razor sharp thread snips are just the thing for trimming them right off at the base. And they’re easier to use than scissors due to the spring action. I also use them many times instead of a seam ripper.

Source: Fiskar’s thread snips

Thread tension tip:

If your thread tension is off, the easy way to see which thread is causing the problem is to use a different colored thread in the top and bobbin. That way you can easily see which thread might be too loose or too tight.

Learn basic sewing from these videos on YouTube

Beginner sewing topics covered here are how to sew a seam, how to sew a sleeve, how to sew a zipper, how to sew buttons and three ways to gather.

How to sew a basic seam

How to sew a sleeve

How to sew zippers

How to sew on buttons

How to gather

More helpful sewing information

Recommended reading

Great sewing tips from Nancy Zieman. Must-have reference books for beginning sewers.

Nancy Zieman is the host of the popular long-running PBS show Sewing with Nancy, and I’ve been a fan of hers for years. She shares a lot of wonderful tips for beginning sewers in these two books.

Sew with Confidence: A Beginner’s Guide to Basic Sewing

Nancy Zieman’s Sewing A to Z: Your Source for Sewing and Quilting Tips and Techniques

19 replies
  1. Amy Chrzanowski
    Amy Chrzanowski says:

    Have you ever used the button hole feature? It does not seem to be feeding the fabric on mine and the bottom thread gets all bunched up. Any help is appreciated. Thank you

    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      No I haven’t. Make sure it’s threaded properly and that the tension is correct. Also, if the fabric is flimsy, slippery or stretchy, you might need to put a piece of paper underneath. Then you can tear it away after sewing. Those are all the suggestions I have. Good luck!

      • Amy Chrzanowski
        Amy Chrzanowski says:

        Thank you. I will try the paper trick. I’m thinking my sewing machine needs to be serviced. The tension is all off all of a sudden.

  2. Barbara Sohn
    Barbara Sohn says:

    So glad I found your site!! Just bought each of our granddaughters, ages 11 & 12, the XL2600i Brother sewing machine for Christmas this year. Very happy and excited to encourage the interest that these two have shown for sewing and looking forward too many sewing projects to make and quality times to share. Will be sharing this web site with them so they can visit it whenever they need help. Thank so much!

    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      What lucky girls your granddaughters are! You’re all going to have a lot of fun together. And thanks, Barbara, for keeping my site in mind to help them out when they need it.

  3. Jane
    Jane says:

    Thank you so much for this posting. I just got my first sewing machine, ever, and embarking on the adventure of learning to sew. Thanks to you, I’ve got a good start!

  4. Lorie
    Lorie says:

    Please help I help need to know what number all the dials on my xl2600i brother sewing machine needs to be

  5. Lorie
    Lorie says:

    Help my dials got played with while I was gone an i need help please can someone help me I need to know what each number all the dials need to be on so I can use my sewing machine

    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Please refer to your manual as it should tell you what settings to use for all of the stitches. Hope that helps.

      • Patrick ( Doc ) Ferguson
        Patrick ( Doc ) Ferguson says:

        My wife gave away my sewing machine away. I don’t blame her the hem I tried turned out lousy. It had been a long time since I sewed in costume class for theatre in College. I fooled her and got a Brother XL 2600 I. Well the manual was not so clear and I stumbled until I found this site. Plus I found a sewing book that explained all the different threads and materials. I also had an automatic threader, which I could not master. After watching the video, piece of cake. Thanks for all the tips. Doc Ferguson, retired Theatre Arts, Scene Designer, Master Carpenter and now I can make minor repairs on clothes, including zippers and buttons!


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