The Destiny is the latest offering from Baby Lock. It was designed to replace the Elissimo Gold II and is such an intriguing machine that I actually visited two different dealers in order to prepare for this review.

Before touching it, I attended a demonstration at Cynthia’s Fine Fabrics in Tamarac, Florida. Then within a week, I drove to Laura’s Sewing and Vacuum Center in Palm Beach Gardens to get a hands on experience.

While some people may think the extra effort was not really necessary, I am truly glad I took the time and went the extra mile(s). If I had skipped either of these experiences, I could very well have been left scratching my head and not really knowing how to present this review.

At A Glance

The Baby Lock Destiny is possibly the largest sewing machine for home use I have ever seen… with or without the embroidery unit attached. The good news is you do not have to remove the embroidery arm to sew.

Baby Lock Destiny BLDY

Baby Lock Destiny BLDY

In addition to its size, the next thin that caught my eye was the large brilliant full color LCD touch screen and the metallic highlights in the gold accent paint.

There is a laser pen and three USB ports on the right side of the machine as well as a headphone jack. More on that later.

Tons of bright LED lights, which illuminate the entire work area

Tons of bright LED lights, which illuminate the entire work area

The Baby Lock Destiny has a space under the lid where you can store bobbins and frequently used accessories like the three in one tool – a special three position screwdriver that makes it easy to change the needle, presser foot ankle and needle plate.

When the embroidery unit is not attached, you have the option of using the free arm or adding the extra-large flat workspace that includes two additional on board storage compartments.

The Baby Lock Destiny also has tons of bright LED lights, which illuminate the entire work area with extra lighting immediately above the needle, a stylus and large, conveniently placed, ergonomically designed keys that control the following functions:
• Start/stop
• Reverse
• Reinforcement stitch/stitch lock
• Needle up/down
• Thread cutter
• Presser foot up/down
• Variable speed slider
• Automatic needle threader

Features

Sewing features:

Laser pen and three USB ports on the right side

Laser pen and three USB ports on the right side

  • 770 Built-in stitches including 149 Utility stitches
    • 15 one-step buttonholes
    • 1 four-step custom buttonhole
    • 442 Decorative stitches
    • 79 Decorative satin stitches
    • 20 Satin stitches
    • 17 Cross stitches
    • 63 Utility stitches
    • 5 Alphanumeric fonts
    • 30 Quilting stitches with 57 needle position options
  • Adjustable stitch length and width
  • Utility and decorative stitch editing
  • 5 Memory settings for each Utility stitch
  • Sew Utility and Decorative stitches while embroidery arm is attached
  • Automatic drop feed on screen
  • Mirror-image
  • Lock key
  • Reinforcement priority settings
  • Lateral and diagonal feeding
  • Variable needle positions
  • Fully automatic built-in darning
  • Twin needle settings
  • 11.25″ to the right of the needle
  • Start/stop button
  • Reverse stitch
  • Reinforcement key
  • Needle up/down
  • Thread cutter
  • Automatic presser foot lift
  • Automatic needle threading
  • Variable speed control slider
  • NeedleCam™ Digital Camera
  • Edge sewing with NeedleCam Digital Camera
  • IQ Designer with paper holding frame for image scanning
  • Guide beam
  • Needle beam sensor pen
  • Enhanced stadium lighting with 5 settings
  • Advanced pivoting
  • Automatic fabric sensor system
  • Automatic thread and hoop sensors
  • Quick-set, top-loading bobbin with sensor
  • Quick-set independent variable speed bobbin winding system with variable speed
  • Ergonomic 3-position knee lift
  • Programmable 3-step needle up/down
  • Automatic thread cutter (with on/off capability)
  • Needle plate with scale in inches and centimeters
  • Multi-function foot control
  • Free arm
  • Two accessory storage compartments
  • On board Operational Guide with up to 43 help topics and built-in videos
  • Sewing Application Guide
  • Help Messages
  • Embroidery Stitch Count System – SCS
  • Save settings screen images
  • Updatable via software downloads
  • Language conversion capabilities (12 languages)
  • Baby Lock digital USB mouse

Embroidery features:

Variety of on board embroidery designs

Variety of on board embroidery designs

  • 641 Embroidery designs
    • 316 Baby Lock exclusives including 37 Nancy Zieman designs
    • 15 Buttonhole embroidery designs in 3 sizes (45 total)
    • 15 Buttonhole embroidery frame designs
    • 160 Large decorative stitch designs
    • 14 Bobbin work embroidery designs
    • 140 Frame combinations
    • 27 font styles
    • Extra-large striped alphabet and characters (100 total)
    • Extra-large block alphabet and characters (100 total)
    • Exclusive script alphabet and characters (70 total)
    • Large floral alphabet (64 total)
    • Greek alphabet (24 total)
  • Embroiders up to 9.5″ x 14″ (240mm x 360mm) embroidery field
  • Memory capacity approximately 2MB
  • Reads embroidery designs with a stitch capacity of up to 700,000 stitches per design
  • Full color LCD Touch Screen shows
    • Design placement using drag/drop and slide/ scroll capabilities
    • Enhanced Realistic Preview
    • Design previews and needle position image can be enlarged 200%
    • Needle positioning grid
    • Estimated embroidery time display and stitch count
    • Needle advancement in 1, 10, 100, or 1000 stitch increments
    • Measurements displayed in inches or metrics
    • Color separation
    • Thread color indicator
    • On-screen hoop size indicator
    • Bobbin thread sensor
    • 300 color names
    • Screen saver customization
    • Thumbnail images viewed at 150% the normal size
  • 9-Point trial check points
  • Starting point key for instant alignment of characters or patterns
  • Customize embroidery pattern and thumbnail back ground colors (66 options)
  • On-screen grid
  • Cuts jump stitches (with on/off capability)
  • Embroider without removing the foot control
  • Embroidery Editing Capabilities
  • Combine embroidery designs on screen
  • Character/text array
  • Character spacing
  • 0.1°, 1°, 10°, and 90° Pattern rotation
  • Enhanced design enlargement and reduction ((up to 200% and down to 60%)
  • Design duplication
  • Automatic appliquê
  • Automatic basting
  • Mirror imaging
  • Change color selections within designs
  • Color sorting on border designs
  • Monochrome option for embroidery designs
  • Programmable custom thread color selection

Working on the Baby Lock Destiny BLDY

There are so many things to remember when it comes to working on the Baby Lock Destiny BLDY that I almost don’t know where to start. For starters, when you turn it on, you have three options… sewing, embroidery or IQ Designer.

Three starting options - sewing, embroidery or IQ Designer

Three starting options – sewing, embroidery or IQ Designer

The embroidery stitch menu contains a variety of on board embroidery designs by one of my favorite television sewing instructors, Nancy Zieman. Sewing with Nancy, her weekly PBS show is the longest running sewing program to date.

If it wasn’t for Kathy Stipe, the Baby Lock Regional Representative who ran the demonstration at Cynthia’s Fine Fabrics, I would not know half of what the Baby Lock Destiny is capable of doing.

The laser pen has a guide beam that not only pinpoints where a design or seam is to start and stop, it is also a great tool for creating professional quilt projects.

The dual foot pedal has a small pedal attached to the left side – the side car – which can be programmed to perform one of several different functions… including cutting thread, reverse stitching, sewing a single stitch or raising or lowering the needle.

The Baby Lock Destiny BLDY has a digital dual feed, longer feed dogs and a motor driven walking foot which helps keep specialty fabrics and silks from slipping.

The multi-positional three in one screwdriver is one of the new innovations which makes removing and inserting screws at the needle, ankle and needle plate easier than ever.

There is also a couching foot and special thread guide that is attached to the upper left side of the machine, making it possible for you to work with yarn and ribbon.

The embroidery unit does not have to be removed when the Baby Lock Destiny is in the sewing mode. When sewing with the embroidery unit in place, the arm moves all the way to the left, giving you the largest workspace possible on a home sewing machine. When in the embroidery mode, the hoops slide onto and off of the unit and are clamped securely into place.

Dual foot pedal

Dual foot pedal

The large embroidery hoops that are standard with the Baby Lock Destiny BLDY are reinforced and mare stable than any other hoop that is available with other home embroidery machines.

Digital dual feed

Digital dual feed

After a morning of watching a demonstration in a room filled with people who were as anxious to learn about the Baby Lock Destiny, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one.

Large embroidery hoops

Large embroidery hoops

When I made the drive to Laura’s Sewing and Vacuum in Palm Beach Gardens, I was so eager to see the Destiny, I almost walked right past it. There it sat … right next to the door.

On board thread guides make threading the Baby Lock Destiny and winding the bobbin comfortingly easy… even if you are preparing to work with yarn or ribbon.

The only difference is that the couching guide simply snaps into place on the top of the machine and you change the presser foot.

When embroidering, the machine not only stops to signal that it is time for a thread change, a light bar next to the spool pin even tells you what color thread to use next.

The on board camera and scanner are easy to use, making it possible for you to use the IQ Designer to transfer anything – line drawing, an illustration or an image from a computer file – to create practically any embroidery design you can imagine.

A light bar next to the spool pin tells what color thread to use next

A light bar next to the spool pin tells what color thread to use next

For this review, I sampled several different decorative and utility stitches. Not only is this one of the quietest, most solidly built sewing machines, it is also one of the most comfortable machines I have ever worked on.

There is no neck, shoulder or back discomfort. The super bright on board lights virtually make eye strain impossible.

The stitch quality is excellent. You couldn’t ask for better quality stitches on any sewing machine … whether it’s made for use in the home or in a factory.

Stitch quality is excellent

Stitch quality is excellent

Some sewing machines perform better at lower speed settings. I used each of the different speed settings and noticed no variation whatsoever in the Destiny’s performance or stitch quality.

Fabrics

  • Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
  • Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
  • Knits
  • Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
  • Denim
  • Upholstery
  • Leather/suede
  • Fur
  • Reptile skin
  • Canvas/Twill
  • Plastic/Rubber
  • Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers

Accessories

Standard accessories:

  • 16 Snap-on presser feet
    • Digital Dual-Feed System Foot
    • Couching sole for Digital Dual-Feed
    • Embroidery foot with LED pointer
    • General purpose zigzag
    • Blind stitch
    • Buttonhole
    • Button fitting
    • Free-motion open toe quilting
    • Free-motion quilting
    • Free-motion echo
    • Monogramming
    • Overcasting
    • ¼” Quilting foot with a guide
    • Straight stitch foot
    • Vertical stitch alignment foot
    • Zipper
  • Sensor Pen and Holder
  • Knee lifter with 3-position handle
  • Stylus
  • LCD cleaning cloth
  • USB cable
  • Easy-lock accessory case
  • Multi-Function Foot Control
  • Soft canvas cover with 3 storage pockets
  • 2 Spool cone thread stand
  • Yarn guide and yarn threader
  • Straight stitch needle plate
  • Bobbin case and cover
  • Alternate bobbin case for pre-wound bobbins
  • Cord guide bobbin cover
  • Bobbin center pin
  • Embroidery bobbin thread
  • Extra bobbins
  • Embroidery Positioning Stickers (4-Sheets of 64)
  • White needle calibration stickers
  • 6 Edge sewing sheets
  • Multi-position screwdriver
  • Presser foot adaptor
  • Seam ripper
  • Twin needle
  • 4 Embroidery hoops and grids
    • 9.5″ x 14″ (240mm x 360mm)
    • 8″ x 12″ (200mm x 300mm)
    • 5″ x 7″ (130mm x 180mm)
    • 4″ x 4″ (100mm x 100mm)
Accessories

Accessories

Maintenance







After each useMonthly*Once Each Year**As Needed
Clean race hook and feed dogs
Wipe head with soft dry cloth
Wipe head with soft damp cloth
Lubricate
Service by sewing machine repair professional

* more often if the machine is used for extended periods of time or if used frequently

**more often if the machine is used heavily or if it is not operating properly

Tying Off The Loose Ends

The Baby Lock Destiny BLDY is not a machine for beginners and anyone who allows a child to work on a sewing machine like this is simply asking for trouble.

An intermediate or advanced home sewer would be fascinated by all that this machine can do. There is so much to learn about this machine that even if you have been sewing for many decades, you would want to make sure you take advantage of all the classes you can possibly attend.

I like the fact that the on board tutorials are actual live-action videos, complete with audio step by step instructions.

So much to learn about this machine

So much to learn about this machine

With so many brand new features, it is almost a natural expectation that certain bugs may have to be worked out after the Destiny has been in use under normal conditions in sewing rooms around the world.

Dave, co-owner of Laura’s Sewing and Vacuum told me that one downloadable update is already available to correct one minor item that has come to the attention of the manufacturer.

I thoroughly enjoyed working on the Destiny, and have no doubt that all the hype leading up to its unveiling was definitely well placed. In my humble opinion, all the great features certainly make this machine worth the selling price.

Of course, each independent dealer has flexibility in pricing and is more than willing and able to customize terms to accommodate practically anyone who wants to take this multi-faceted, much anticipated sewing, quilting and embroidery machine home.

I encourage anyone who is seriously interested in adding the Baby Lock Destiny to their home sewing room to make a point of visiting the nearest authorized Baby Lock dealer and ask for a demonstration.

Baby Lock Destiny BLDY Review
Link To Official Website
Skill Level:
Beginner
Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
Intermediate
Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
Expert
Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
Performance
Stitch quality
Speed
Ease of use
Maintenance
Pros
  • On board video tutorials
  • Introduces 23 innovative features
Cons
  • Lots of new features – questionable as to how they will hold up in normal home use
4.7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (58 Votes)

22 Responses

  1. Brenda

    I am looking at the baby lock Destiny and the Brother Dream Machine. The Baby Lock dealer and service center is 8 miles from my home and she wants $15K for the machine but will ” work with me some on the price”. The Dream Machine is at a quilt store over 50 miles from my hone and she does not have a service center that I know of. She wants $8995 for a machine used 2 days in an embroidery class. There is a Dream dealer/service center about 15 miles away, have not visited that store but pretty sure they could not match the price. Note I sent the far away quilt store an email saying I was interested and would send $1K to hold till I could come in. After reading your review on Brother and Destiny I am convinced I prefer the Brother BUT! A commentor said his Brother had been in the shop two times. What should I do? Buy from the closet dealer who has service, or buy the best price from the over 50 mile dealer and then have to take it to the dealer near me for service? What kind of service could I get from a store that did not sell me the machine? My current machine is rarely at the service center, only goes in for cleaning and service. Your reviews were very good and helped me think this thru. It”s a big investment and honestly, I was only wanting a machine for my quilting. Had not given a lot of thought to embroidery but am fascinated by the prospect.

    Reply
    • Vernelle

      Hello, Brenda –

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

      An honest dealer will admit that there is very little if any difference between the two machines.

      As for having to take them in for servicing… When you consider the many, many new features available on these machines, it is understandable that adjustments will be required as they are put to use under normal home situations. It’s like anything else that is brand new on the market. The manufacturer has to have time to ‘get the bugs out’ once the machine is out of the factory setting and functioning in the real world. There are two very encouraging things that you should consider.

      1. The manufacturer is making software updates available as quickly as possible when they recognize that an adjustment is needed.
      2. Most dealers are offering extensive training at no cost and low or no cost servicing.

      I have had the pleasure of talking with two people who have purchased these machines… one Brother and one Baby Lock. They are both thrilled with their machines and even several months after purchasing, they are still taking classes and learning more about what they can do.

      You say that the Baby Lock dealer is only 8 miles away from your home and going to the Brother dealer is a 100 mile round trip. If you consider the amount of time you will likely be spending learning all about the things you can do with the Destiny or Dream Machine, you might want to give serious consideration to spending the extra money on the machine and saving yourself a lot of gas money and driving time.

      Happy stitching.

      Reply
  2. Maryann McClain

    It is true that both of the machines are virtually the same; however, Baby Lock is a company that is totally devoted to sewing, whereas Brother sells many different products. I have owned sewing machine, sergers, and embroidery machine manufactured by both companies, and I have found Baby Lock to be a nicer company with which to do business.

    Reply
    • Ramona

      Brother makes the Baby Locks for Baby Lock. I purchased “The Dream Machine” and I LOVE IT! The deciding factor for me was the ability to embroider “DISNEY” designs. I have a five year warranty so I’m hoping for many years of use far beyond the five year warranty. I purchased it in October 2014 and have had no problems with it. It sews beautifully and has many wonderful features.

      Reply
      • Sharon

        The Brother Dream machine is a great machine, however Baby Lock IS NOT owned by Brother. They are their own company. Baby Lock uses the Brother manufacturing facility, but Baby Locks are made according to their own specifications. As to whether one of these high-end machines is better than the other one, I would not try to say as I don’t know. I do know that they are owned by entirely different companies, and are as I said, made to different specifications. There are very few sewing/embroidery manufacturing facilities left in the world today and many name brand machines use these facilities but they are made to their own specifications and many have been their own company for a long time, regardless of where they are manufactured. Just like GM and Ford are their own company but get manufacturing components from all over the world made according to their own specifications. TMI ?

      • Vernelle

        Sharon –

        Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight and thank you for the clarification.

  3. Lynn

    Could you please tell me what is the height, width, and length, of the Destiny. I have a Koala cabinet with an electric lift that it will have to fit into if I decide to buy one. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Vernelle

      Hello, Lynn –

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

      I did not actually measure the dimensions of the Destiny. I can tell you, however, that the footprint is about twice that of other sewing and embroidery machines. I suspect that your electronic lift is designed to hand a standard sized sewing machine. If you are seriously considering adding a Destiny to your sewing room, my recommendation is that you also consider investing in a table that will be able to accommodate it.

      Reply
  4. Linda

    I noticed you stated that the fabrics not suitable for the Destiny include upholstery, canvas and leather. Is it because of the motor not being strong enough or the machine working mechanisms not strong enough. I had someone tell me that “any machine can sew these with the right needle” I certainly don’t know enough to know what it takes to see with these materials but am interested in seeing with them on a small scale. Can this machine do it?

    Reply
    • Vernelle

      Hello, Linda –

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

      The fabric scale I use is designed to tell people which fabrics the machine works BEST with. The Destiny is fully capable of working with thick fabrics. However, I do not recommend it for heavy or constant use with these fabrics. I suspect that prolonged use on fabrics that cause the motor to work harder than usual could after a while create problems with some of the machine’s internal components.

      Reply
  5. Alisa

    Hi, I recently owned the Bernina 830.It was a trainwreck from the start1 The dealer as well as Bernina had it more than I did. I’m looking toi replace it with the Brother drem Machine, Babylock Destiny, or the Janome HC 15,000. One of mt concerns about the Dream machine/Destiny is the scanner. I’ve heard both good and bad reviews on the digitizing of the pictures scanned. Do the images sew well?
    Thank you,
    Alisa

    Reply
  6. kathy

    how much does the baby lock destiny weight and the demensions. I just cant find it any where….. even in the specifications…..

    Reply
    • Vernelle

      Hello, Kathy –

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

      To the best of my knowledge, the shipping weight for the Baby Lock Destiny is about 85-90 pounds. It has a footprint that is about twice the size of a traditional full size sewing machine. A general rule of thumb for anyone considering adding one of these massive sewing and embroidery machines to their sewing room should allow for twice the space that you would expect to use for a sewing machine. In addition, you should not expect to be able to move this machine around. You should plan for it to stay wherever you initially put it. Not only is it heavy, moving it around frequently could adversely affect some of the internal components.

      Reply
      • Cindy

        Vernelle

        The Destiny does not weigh 85 to 90 lbs. if that were true no one would be able to take it to class. It weighs somewhere 35 to 40 lbs. I have both the Baby Lock Destiny and the Brother Dream Machine and they are virtually the same machine. The only difference is that the Dream Machine can stitch out Disney designs. Both are fabulous!

      • Vernelle

        Hello, Cindy. Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight and thank you for the clarification. I stand corrected and will share this information with my source as well.

        Happy stitching.

  7. adrienne

    I have the babylock destiny. It is a big machine. I took it on my trip cross country and used it in my rv on the kitchen table. The dream machine is the same machine except the dream machine has built in disney designs and the babylock does not, feet fit on both machines. You tube videos are the same steps for both machines. I think that being near a dealer who has classes is helpful the inspiration guide which just came out and is to be purchased seperately is supposed to be very helpful. So far I love my Destiny!!!

    Reply
  8. Melinda

    I want to thank you for your excellent in-depth review of the Destiny. I have a Bernina 830 and am considering the Destiny as the BabyLock dealer in town is where I purchased my Ovation (which I love) and my Bernina dealer is an hour and a half away. I am more and more convinced that I should just go ahead and sell my 830 and buy the Destiny.Thank you again.

    Reply
  9. Paula

    is the bernina 880 even comparable to this they want 13000 but no camera less stitches

    Reply

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