I am super excited to talk about my new partnership with Baby Lock today!
If you aren’t familiar with Baby Lock yet…it is a sewing machine company who specializes in the most amazing home sergers on the market (hence the “lock” as in overlock stitch). They also make great sewing machines like this little lady here…
Her name is Katherine, but I call her Kathy for short. 😉 (I seriously love that they give all their machines cute names. )
I actually started working with Baby Lock in August, but I wanted to give Katherine a good test drive before I shared my review so that I could be accurate.
The verdict: pretty great! I never really doubted though. 🙂
Let’s break it down…
Tension: I swear I have perfect tension every time. It’s so refreshing!
Automatic threader: I know many new machines have this feature, but it has never worked so easily for me than with my Baby Lock. It works so great, I haven’t bothered to hand-thread since I got her.
Options: There are PLENTY of stitch options to choose from and then some. And did I mention the tension is perfect with those stitches? Yep, it’s perfect.
THREAD CUTTER: I put that in all caps because it deserves extra attention. Once you use the automatic thread cutter you won’t ever want to go back. Just press that button and it cuts your thread for you!! And it doesn’t leave a too short tail that will un-thread itself when you go to sew again. I have so much love for this feature!
No machine is perfect, so I have a couple cautions to share about my Katherine.
Thick Fabric: Katherine can handle leather and thick fabric no problem but you absolutely HAVE to use heavy duty leather needle to make it work. Even with lightweight leather…things may get dicey. I felt like I could wrangle my cheaper machine into submission with a universal needle if need be, but Katherine makes you use the proper tools every time. Not that that’s really a bad thing (since that’s probably why it yields a better tension), but it’s worth keeping in mind that if any part of your project uses leather or has a thick seam, you’ll need to switch needles. If only a small cross section of say…a pant’s inseam has a thick portion that can be a little cumbersome. I usually just sew the whole seam with a stronger needle.
Bobbin winding: With certain threads I feel like I need to pull on the thread (just barely!) to get proper winding tension on my bobbin. This isn’t true with all threads, but some slicker/finer threads need it.
Sewing on the Katherine makes sewing more fun and less frustrating. I could especially feel the difference the first week after I made the switch. I would get the funniest looks from my husband when I would squeal with giggles after finishing a seam and inspecting it. Who gets that excited about perfect tension…this girl. 😉
In full disclosure, I think less problems and easier sewing is probably a common attribute for most machines that are an upgrade from entry level machines, but I’m only guessing. What I do know, is that having sewn on the Katherine, as well as the Elizabeth, and having tried a Baby Lock serger at a conference, I have yet to meet a Baby Lock machine I don’t like.
Now, you may be wondering…why Baby Lock?
Honestly, I think there are a lot of great sewing machine companies out there. I approached Baby Lock about partnering (not the other way around) because I was (and am) impressed with the consistent quality I see in their machines. I also like that they invest in bloggers and small businesses in inspiring and meaningful ways . They are a company who cares about who they work with, and they like to use their connections and sewing powers for good.
I feel good sewing on a Baby Lock, not only because it’s almost effortless, but also because I know there is a family of good people behind the brand who care about their customers and want to inspire them.
All the heart eyes folks.
Last week they wrote an article about little old me on their Baby Lock blog, Totally Stitch’! Interviewing with them was really fun and I think they nailed my profile down pretty well.
Now…for a small peek at how Kathy looks in my office space…
I am not quite ready to show more because my “office” is still not done. It shares a space with our master bedroom so organization has been a little trickier than when I had my own dedicated space. It’s been good at helping me purge though!
In the meantime, I grabbed a few shots of her for this post, in my photo studio/garage. Shhh…I am totally fake sewing in this shot because there was no nearby plug. Ha!
I shared a project for Baby Lock for Christmas just last month, but it’s totally great for any time of year. Go HERE to check out my faux industrial felt basket tutorial or go HERE to see it in their Holiday guide.
I can’t wait to share more Baby Lock projects with you this year!
My first and only sewing machine that I’ve ever owned is a Baby Lock Maria. Super basic, but I don’t sew a ton so it works just fine for me. But it seems like whenever people ask what kind of sewing machine I have (which, granted, hasn’t been super often) and I tell them it’s a Baby Lock, I get the most quizzical looks– like no one has ever heard of it! So I’m glad you posted this. I feel totally validated and slightly more awesome knowing that I do in fact have a really nice sewing machine. 🙂
How fun! Yeah, I think Baby Lock is gaining more recognition (as it should). 🙂
thank you for a great review. it’s going to be very helpful:)
can I ask you about the dress form? can you tell me a little about it? where its from and would you recommend it?
thank you again!!
Sure. The dress form is from the Shop Company and I love it. It’s super nice quality and I have no complaints. I have a review post with links here: http://www.deliacreates.com/shop-company-dress-form-review/. Hope that helps!
I love it when a review includes cons as well as pros! Thank you! =) I’ve had my eye on Babylock machines for a while now, but what I really think is amazing is the sergers with jet-air threading… those look so cool!
Oh my gosh…I know right? One of their sergers is totally on my list too. A-maaaaazing.
I have the Babylock Imagine serger best money ever spent on a machine. I can’t begin to tell you how much I love the self threading aspect. Saves so much time and frustration. Tension is always perfect and the needle threader works like a charm too.
I have only test driven one and I agree. Hands down the best serger! It’s definitely on my wish list. Lucky you!
Awesome! I’m so happy you’re working with them! That’s great!
Me too! Thanks Dana!
I owned a Baby Lock Imagine serger for a couple years. It broke down a couple times, and the last time, it was a part the local guy couldn’t fix and it had to be sent back to the factory for repairs. The jet air threading sounds nice, but ends up being kind of a pain after awhile. The first thing that needed repair in my machine was the pump thing that poofs the air through. The loopers are actually little tiny tubes (the thread goes inside) and can clog with lint, then you have to floss them with a special tiny wire. Not having to deal with tensions was nice, since I didn’t understand how they worked at the time. But since that machine croaked, I gave it to my mom and bought myself a Bernina serger with coverstitch capabilities. I can thread it just as fast as I could with my old machine…if you had experience threading sergers 30 years ago, do not be afraid of the new ones. They are a breeze!! One (free, at my local dealer where I purchased the machine) class taught me all the tricks and stuff, and I am totally confident on my serger now, tensions and all. I even know how to change one thread if it breaks without unthreading the whole machine.
I just purchased my first baby lock, Katherine, and am having problems winding the bobbin. I have wasted much thread. I have owned a Pfaff and New Home (Janome) and never had problems with bobbin winding. The book directions are different from the one video I watched. So, do I pull the thread up through the hole in the bobbin like I did on my other machines or not when winding? My dealer is over an hour away so I may have to take a Saturday to drive over there. I was going to upgrade to the high dollar embroidery machine in a year or so, but now have second thoughts.
So sorry to hear you’re having trouble. I’m not a Baby Lock machine expert, so take my advice with that in mind. I don’t put my thread through the hole of the bobbin like I have with other machines. I wind it around the bobbin as the arrows direct, and then I pull the thread through the notch on the bobbin winder (below the bobbin). This cuts away the excess thread and holds the starting thread tail in place. I push the bobbin holder over to the right, and then wind. If I notice the thread winding looser than it should, I intercept the thread right before it winds onto the bobbin and *slightly* pull it taut. That has always fixed it for me. I don’t always have bobbin winding problems with regular all-purpose threads, but finer, or really silky thread usually gives me trouble. I sincerely hope that helps! If not, then I would think that your dealer may be better able to help. Good luck!
What is the harp space on the Kathrine?
Good question Tina! I just measured it and it is about 12 inches long by 8 inches wide. I hope that helps!
What is the ballpark price for the Katherine, and can you do quilting on it?
Great questions! The Katherine runs about $999 but this can vary a little from region to region and dealer to dealer. Your local dealer may run deals on their machines and get you a better price.
As far as quilting on it, the technical answer is yes. If you get the correct quilting foot and lower your feed dogs you can certainly quilt on it. It is not however specifically made just for quilting. It all depends on how comfortable you feel quilting on the throat space the Katherine offers and the size of your projects.
I hope that helps!
Has anyone else bought a Katherine. I was told that they run 1700.00 has anyone run into one at that price?
I’m not a dealer, so I can’t answer with certainty, but this sounds too high to me. I would ask around to other dealers to compare. I hope that helps!
I’m thinking of purchasing the Katherine, so you really recommend it!! I keep losing looking for reviews but yours is the only one I can find! Thanks so much for the advice
I hope it helps! Good luck deciding on a machine. <3
Thank you for this review! I’m thinking of buying a Katherine and was trying to find the price on the internet. No one seems to publish it – everyone posts the same info from the Baby Lock site. So thank you for letting people know the ballpark price. Good luck with your partnership with Baby Lock. I would choose a Baby Lock (or Brother) over Bernina any day, just because they are still affordable.
Thank you Dee! I totally agree with you. It’s a quality machine too! Happy machine shopping!
What is the throat size from needle to the right?
It’s about 8 inches.
Trulie Oliver says
I totally love my Baby Lock Ovation serger! Such a wonderful machine. My husband and I just purchased a Baby Lock Verve sewing/embroidery machine (early Christmas gift) and I can hardly wait to try it out! It’s replacing a 20 year old Brother embroidery machine so am excited about all the new possibilities with this small, but “improved” machine!!
Bought my Kathrine 3 weeks ago . My fabric does not feed . Dosent move when I see. Been watching a lot of videos . Rethreaded at least 10 tines . What do u think it may be ?
I am so sorry to hear that. I would get it into your dealer to see if they can trouble shoot for you. Best of luck!
Where can I find this machin…because I can’t find it on this site Katherine Baby Look
That’s a good question. You would have to find a local Babylock dealer. You can check the Babylock website to look up the closest one to you. Best of luck!
Maureen Wynne says
I’d be happy to sell her my machine. After sewing on an Etna 9000 for years, Katherine is a bad joke. Made for smaller hands, the spaces are too tight to change needles and feet. Embroidery results are primitive, at best. Not good enough to use in a project that’s going to be gifted or sold. This is made for the Asian market with little or no thought given to make adaptions to the western market. The engineering is 3rd rate. I have tried to use the full mandate of the machine and have been disappointed using every feature except for the button-holer. I mean really: who needs three different ways to trim thread? They should have put more effort into making beautiful embroidery stitches that actually cover the fabric, or engineered the feed dog not to grab and bunch light fabric. Ugh! What an expensive mistake.
Did you mean to say Elna 9000?