While going through the inventory of new sergers and sewing machines at Cynthia’s Fine Fabrics in Tamarac, Florida, I had an opportunity to review the Baby Lock Eclipse, a basic serger with Baby Lock’s exclusive Jet Air threading.
At A Glance
The Baby Lock Eclipse appears to be quite a bit different from other Baby Lock sergers. First of all, it has tension dials, a clear indication that unlike other Baby Lock sergers, this one requires the user to adjust the tension manually.
The Eclipse has dials to adjust the stitch length and width, a differential feed lever, adjustable presser foot pressure, dial adjustable rolled hem, side thread cutter, and an accessories storage compartment beneath the two spool pins on the right hand side.
Inside the looper door you will find the threading guide along with the jet air threading mechanism and a large sign that tells you “DO NOT OIL”.
There isn’t much to figure out here. Just insert the looper threads in the appropriate threading ports, follow the instructions and the loopers are threaded instantaneously.
There is also a large, well illuminated work space, bright lighting and an easy to follow seam guide.
- Automatic needle threader
- Differential feed
- Adjustable stitch length and width
- On board accessory storage
- Jet air threading
- Bright LED on board lighting
- Side thread cutter
- Adjustable presser foot pressure
- Dial adjustable rolled hem
- Fabric support system
- Sews up to 1500 stitches per minute
Working on the Baby Lock Eclipse
To thread the Baby Lock Eclipse, insert the looper threads in the threading ports one at a time and press the lever which sends the thread through the entire system, if there are any questions or if there is any doubt as to how to thread the loopers, a convenient threading guide is on the inside of the looper door.
The needles are threaded the traditional way, through the tension discs and threading guides. There is the benefit of an automatic needle threader.
Aside from that, however, the upper threads are loaded the old fashioned way. Once the Eclipse is threaded and ready to sew, operating it is quite easy. Merely place the fabric on the machine bed and press the foot pedal.
For this review, I sampled the four thread overlock stitch. While sewing, I made gradual adjustments to the stitch length and width settings.
It didn’t matter which setting was selected, the stitches are ideal – well formed, well defined and sturdy. My only reservation is the fact that the Baby Lock Eclipse is on the noisy side.
On the day I reviewed this serger, I had been in Cynthia’s Fines Fabric reviewing sergers for the better part of the morning and was a bit surprised.
After all, I had already reviewed several Baby Lock sergers and found them all to be very quiet. I will add, however, that the Eclipse, although a bit noisy, is solid, well built and in spite of the acoustics, it did not vibrate at all.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
- Instructional DVD
- Owner’s manual
- Allen wrench
- Looper threading tool
- Lint brush/needle insertion tool
- Extra needles
- 2 screwdrivers
- 4 spool caps
- 4 sponge discs
- 4 thread nets
- 4 cone holders
- Soft cover
- Replacement upper cutting blade
- Beading foot
- Blindhem foot
- Clear foot
- 2 cording / piping foot (3mm and 5mm)
- Elastic applicator foot
- Flat sole foot
- Lace applicator foot
- Ruffling foot
- Size 90 top stitch needles
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean race hook and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
The Baby Lock Eclipse is an excellent starter serger. It is simple enough to operate that a child as young as ten can master its use and operation with some supervision, but not too much.
Someone at the middle school level would need a minimum amount of supervision in the beginning, but none at all after just a few turns at threading and operating it.
The Baby Lock Eclipse is not just for beginners, though. I think this machine would be an excellent addition to the sewing room of anyone who is well accustomed to working with a serger and wants to simply add a very basic serger to their sewing room inventory.
It doesn’t have all the frills and bells and whistles one might find on some of the newer sergers on today’s market. It is a solid workhorse, capable of performing all the basic tasks one would expect of a serger.
If you invest in a Baby Lock Eclipse, you will be able to get excellent overlock, overcast, rolled hem, gathering and flatlock stitches with just a little bit of practice.
Although the Baby Lock Eclipse is a little bit louder than I had initially expected, the noise level is not so high that it is annoying or uncomfortable.
The stitch quality is excellent – which is the most important factor when considering any sewing machine or serger. The fact that there is no vibration is an added advantage.
Nobody wants to work on a machine that is shaking and shimmying while you are trying to execute some intricate stitching maneuver, especially on a machine that sews up to 1500 stitches per minute.
Although the Baby Lock Eclipse has a standard finger guard, I do not recommend this or any other serger for use by children younger than ten years of age.
There is simply too much of a risk of the child getting his or fingers in the way of the blade and getting seriously injured.
In my opinion, it is only common sense to keep young children away from any machine that has a blade, needles and moves so fast, but some people actually need to be told to keep young children away from sergers.
They feel that a child that can operate a manual sewing machine, or even an uncomplicated computerized sewing machine, should be ready to learn to use a serger.
As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter how much a child may want to learn to use a serger, they should not be allowed to operate one – even under the strict supervision of an adult.
I feel that anyone ten or older, however, would do well on the Baby Lock Eclipse. It is possibly one of the best basic sergers I have reviewed to date.
I recommend it for anyone who is in the market for a basic serger. If you are in the market for a new basic serger, I suggest you take a long hard look at the Baby Lock Eclipse before making a final decision.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- 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 – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
- Good choice for beginners
- A little noisy
- Manual tension adjustment