I have owned the Brother Sewing Machine XL5600 for over 9 years. I am not an expert or avid sewer but use it quite frequently. I mostly use it for it's basic features but have expanded to some of it's special stitches. This sewing machine is great for beginners, or if you're like me, the moderate sewer. It gets the jobs done and done well. It has several stitch options and is straight forward in it's threading and features. If you're a beginner, you won't be overwhelmed with the extra features and if you're wanting to expand a little more in your sewing skills the other stitches and features are easy to learn. This machine has done well for me, easy to adjust thread tension once you learn how to do it, the instruction manual that comes with the machine is helpful in helping get the right tension. There are the usual features of a standard sewing machine as well: light, hand wheel, button for backwards stitching, and a removable section to be able to slip your item around the arm to sew. Overall this is a great beginners sewing machine. I have been very pleased with it.
Kansas City, MO