Enlightened by my Babylock.

In Jan 2016, I’ve taken the plunge and bought a Babylock Enlighten overlocker. Finally I’ve had enough, having spent hours and hours trying to work out what’s wrong with the Lumina overlocker, threading and re-threading it more times than I cared to count.  It didn’t help that I have very limited knowledge in tension adjustment and how an overlocker actually works :P

 

machines (1)
Babylock Enlighten.

 

Things I like about the Enlighten:

  • Extraordin-Air Threading. Why else do I spend so much on a Babylock if not for this? Just place the looper threads into the ports, press a button and a motor shoots air and pushes the threads to the exit point.
  • Auto-tension. It is made for a tension dummy like me. I want to go from chiffon to denim to fleece to satin with the same setting. And it does. One can still do minor adjustments and there’s a small knob for it, or changing differential feed, but it’s more of an exception than the norm.
  • Vertical needles. They are not at an angle and have more penetrative power.
  • LED lighting
  • Change to rolled hem function by taking out a needle and flicking a switch only.

Things I was taken aback with:

  • The price. I had to save up long and hard for it, and I intend to work it to the bone!
  • I thought it would be completely automatic, but you still have to manually do the needle threads. I see older ladies with declining eyesight and dexterity choose the Babylock specifically for its easy-to-thread, but still end up having difficulty managing the needle threads.
  • I somewhat wished the exterior matches the price. But like a lot of reliable machinery, the manufacturers focus on function over form.
  • Their attachment feet are so expensive =.= (I haven’t bought or used any yet)

 

machines (2)
Put the upper and lower looper thread ends into the threading ports, and push. That’s it. You have to do the needle threads manually though.

 

These metal tubes are where the threads get pushed through by a jet of air.
These metal tubes are where the threads get pushed through by a jet of air. You don’t even need to touch them.

 

machines (6)
Stitch length and width dials, and blade lock

 

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Vertical needles

 

It sews without emotion. It just goes and goes. It’s like a robot (well, it is…). And that’s good. It’s a workhorse. I can feed it any fabric and not worry. I may now return the Lumina overlocker back to my aunt…she has more patience, she can deal with it :P

The Babylock has a range of overlockers and the higher end models (e.g. Ovation, Evolution) also have coverstitch function. Now I really want to coverstitch, but I don’t think I can handle the EIGHT pools of threads in the hybrid Babylock machines. And changing over from overlocking to coverstitch may not be as convenient or easy as it advertises. There are also more dials and buttons and things to confuse me. I decided that if I REALLY want or need to coverstitch, I’ll get a separate, dedicated machine. I need to save up more, more, MORE!

 

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6 thoughts on “Enlightened by my Babylock.

    1. Hi Alex! I am saving for the Coverstitch as well! I’ve done so much research on Enlighten vs Imagine (I want auto tension as well as self threading so only considered these 2). The only differences between Enlighten and Imagine are: Enlighten uses Extraordinaire threading (air+motor) and Imagine has jet-air threading (air only)…practically not much difference tho, both do the job. Also Enlighten has the wave stitch (which I don’t use). The main reason I chose Enlighten is because it has LED lights while Inagine uses lightbulbs. LEDs lasts longer and more importantly is brighter and since I mainly sew at night, it is better for my eyes so I feel as a long term investment in sewing (plus my health/eyesight) I chose the Enlighten. But it is a few hundred dollars more expensive than the Imagine. Coverstitch machine I haven’t decided on which brand, as I heard threading one isn’t as difficult (only 1 looper) …hmm but leaning towards Babylock as I have such a good experience with the Enlighten.

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