When I first heard about a serger that is threaded by a puff of air, I couldn’t wait to review one. That opportunity came with I reviewed the Ovation by Baby Lock at Cynthia’s Fine Fabrics in Tamarac, Florida.
At A Glance
Even before getting a chance to look inside the looper door, the thing I noticed first was the thread stand. The Baby Lock Ovation can sew with up to eight cones of thread.
I am accustomed to seeing a variable speed control slider on sewing machines. The Ovation, however, is the first serger I’ve reviewed that also has a variable speed control slider that lets you sew up to 1500 stitches per minute.
The Ovation has no tension dials or controls because the tension is adjusted automatically. With all this, the one thing that took me completely by surprise is the placement of the presser foot lifter.
Instead of placing it behind the needle bar, the presser foot lifter on the Baby Lock Ovation is located on the front right side.
- 87 stitch options
- 2-8 threads
- 1-3 needles
- Presser foot lifter on front of the machine
- Variable speed control slider
- 2x as much lighting as conventional sergers
- Built-in thread cutter
- Presser foot lever in front
- Built-in accessory storage
- Built-in ribbon/tape guides
- On board color threading chart
- Color-coded single antennae with thread guides
- Wide sewing table
- Needle drop tray with magnet
- Needle clamp safety plate
- Safety switch on front door cover
Working on the Baby Lock Ovation
Threading any serger can be a daunting task. The very idea of threading an eight thread serger can be downright intimidating. The Extraordinaire air threading system is fascinating to watch.
All you have to do is pull off a length of thread – the owner’s manual specifies 22 inches or 56 centimeters for those who prefer metric measurements – then insert the end into the appropriate opening inside the looper door and push the button.
The thread actually automatically goes all the way through the machine and out the other end without you having to do anything at all.
The instructions tell you that if the thread doesn’t go all the way through on the first try, to push the button again.
With up to eight threads to work with, the Extraordinair threading system certainly makes the threading process much less taxing. For your convenience, a graphic color coded threading guide is affixed to the inside of the looper door.
For this review, I sampled the flatlock hem stitch. while working at the slow and intermediate speed settings, the Baby Lock Ovation ran smoothly and without any perceptible vibration.
When I set the variable speed control slider to the highest setting, however, there was definite vibration – not so much as to affect the work, but definitely vibration, nonetheless. The stitch quality was neat, secure and the stitches were well formed.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Knits(Medium to heavyweight only)
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
- Snap on presser foot
- Extension table for chain stitching
- Lint brush/needle threader
- Needle threader
- Looper threader tool
- Thread nets
- Spool caps
- Knee lifter
- Cone holders
- Soft cover
- Optional snap on presser feet
- Blind hem
- Optional chain/cover stitch accessories
- 2 Belt loop binders (3/4” and 1 ½”)
- 2 double fold bias tape binders (28mm and 36mm)
- Fabric guide
- 2 Plain hemmers (1/4” and ½”)
- 3 Single downturn fellers (1/4” 5/8” and 1”)
- 2 Single fold bias tape binders (28mm and 40mm)
|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
After my review, I spoke with a woman who owns an Ovation and she shared with me that she had a little bit of a learning curve since she moved from a traditional serger to the Ovation.
She went on to add that once she got the hang of it, she absolutely loves her Ovation and all that it is capable of doing.
I made a point of asking about the Extraordinair threading system and whether or not it works as well as it did for me during the review.
She answered that she has had her Ovation for a couple of months now and that in addition to loving the fact that she can just push a button to thread the Ovation, she would never go back to working with a serger that required manual threading or one that required her to manually adjust thread tension.
The Ovation was only introduced to the public in August. Now, just a few short months later, it seems to be the next best thing in home serging. One thing is certain.
If the Baby Lock Ovation stands the test of time, it definitely will change the way everyone looks at the traditional home serger and overlock machine.
- 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.
- Easy to thread lower loopers
- Multi-functional serger/overlocker
- Lots of different options for use
- Not recommended for beginners