Baby Lock Sofia2 Review

Baby Lock Sofia2 Review
Baby Lock Sofia2 Review
Author
Users
  • Stitch quality
  • Speed
  • Ease Of Use
  • Maintenance
Beginner
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
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.

Introduction

It’s hard for any experienced home sewer to walk past the Baby Lock Sofia 2 sewing machine without wanting to take it for a test drive so to speak.

Sofia2 by Baby Lock

Sofia2 by Baby Lock

The Sofia2 is one of those machines that almost literally invite you to just sit down and sew. All of the on-board stitches, the attractive and highly functional LCD display, and its general appearance just leap out at you.

Pros

  • Ideal for intermediate sewers
  • Easy threading guide
  • Digitally animated LCD screen
  • Three speed settings

Cons

  • Not capable of performing extra large embroidery jobs

At A Glance

The Sofia2 is one of seven sewing machines in the Baby Lock A Line series, each of which has a girl’s name.

Her sister machines are Elizabeth, Grace, Molly, Anna, Audrey and Jane. The eighth machine in the A line series, the Lauren, is a serger.

When compared with her sister machines, Sofia2 stands apart from the rest. Sofia2 is the only machine in the A Line series that offers so much.

Sofia2 by Baby Lock at a glance

Sofia2 by Baby Lock at a glance

While her sisters share some of her features, Sofia2 is the only machine in the Baby Lock A Line series that offers an embroidery bed and the capability to render so many on-board embroidery and decorative stitch options.

From the soothing teal colored face plate to the easy to follow thread guide, three position sliding speed control and clearly marked function definitions stamped right on front, the Sofia2 is perhaps one of the most inviting machines we have ever seen. This machine was so inviting, it literally seemed to beckon us.

Features

A very long listing of all the features offered by the Sofia2 appears in the specifications section above.

However, this reviewer believes that a few of these features deserve a little extra attention:

  • For starters, the animated LCD screen is one of the best we have seen on any sewing machine to date. Not only are the graphics clear, well lit and easy to see, a simple touch of the finger or stylus will reveal simple, easy to follow guides for stitch selection, size and everything else you need to get perfect results each and every time.

    Animated LCD screen is one of the best

    Animated LCD screen is one of the best

  • The needle plate with the seam guide etched in both inches and centimeters makes it as easy as possible to get the perfect seam without any guesswork or taking time to make adjustments to any other attachments.
  • The speed adjustment setting is ideal for working with everything from intricate details which require a slow steady pace to the straight seam, which allows for the fastest stitch possible.

    The speed adjustment button

    The speed adjustment button

  • The adjustable stitch length and width options coupled with the capability to produce embroidery designs from an embroidery card, a computer or a file stored on a flash drive give users the maximum flexibility possible when it comes to turning their own designs into embroidery reality.

Working on the Sofia2 by Baby Lock

Threading the Sofia2 is so simple you can almost do it with one hand tied behind your back. Each step of the threading process is clearly marked on the top and front of the machine.

Clearly marked threading process

Clearly marked threading process

Winding the drop in bobbin is a piece of cake

Winding the drop in bobbin is a piece of cake

Winding the drop in bobbin is even simpler; and the clear bobbin cover makes keeping up with how much thread you have left on your bobbin a piece of cake.

The actual act of sewing on the Baby Lock Sofia2 is complicated only by the fact that you may run into problems deciding which of the great decorative stitches to use.

No matter what your final stitch selection may be, the automatic tension adjustment guarantees that you will never be faced with stitches that are too loose or too tight.

For this review, we sampled straight stitches of varying lengths and several different decorative stitches.

All it takes to choose one of the many stitches available is to touch the LCD screen with your fingertip or with the convenient stylus that is included in the accessories kit.

You will be taken through each step necessary to create the perfect stitch, identify the ideal embroidery design and select the most suitable embroidery frame for every sewing and embroidery project you take on.

No matter which stitch selection we settled upon, the stitches were all well formed, evenly spaced and perfect in every way.

The design stitches we sampled were sharp and crisp. The straight stitches were neat, even and clean. The stitch length and width adjustment was not just easy to use; it is so simple one might be tempted to let a child use the Sofia2.

Neat, even and clean stitches

Neat, even and clean stitches

However, as easy as this machine is to operate, we do not recommend that a child be allowed to use it without constant adult supervision.

The start/stop button is conveniently located just above the needle and is easily engaged. The only thing to remember is to unplug the foot pedal before you use the start/stop button.

The foot pedal, should you decide to use it, is wide and comfortable. It has a light touch and starts easily with just a light touch.

The only thing that slowed us down was the placement of the presser foot lever. Rather than finding it behind the needle as we are accustomed, the presser foot lever is located to the right of the needle, making it necessary for us to make an adjustment in our technique.

After many, many decades of holding the fabric with our right hand while manipulating the presser foot with our left hand or our knee, it was now necessary for us to hold the fabric with our left hand while raising and lowering the presser foot with our right hand.

Fabrics

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

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 Sofia2 by Baby Lock is one of the most reliable sewing and embroidery machines on the market.

On-board stitches and embroidery designs

On-board stitches and embroidery designs

With a price tag in the $1,000 range, it is also an excellent deal. When you consider all of the features and benefits, you simply can’t go wrong with this great machine. It is lightweight, easy to carry and simple to operate.

The on-board stitches and embroidery designs make the Sofia2 by Baby Lock an excellent and affordable option for anyone who is ready to expand their sewing skills and broaden their range from simple straight and zigzag stitches to include decorative borders and machine embroidery.

The 4 x 4 embroidery bed on this machine is not large, but it is large enough for the novice to get accustomed to the process of machine embroidery and how it works.

When you stop to think about it, however, a 4 x 4 embroidery bed is plenty large enough for practically any embroidery task with the exception of some home dec projects.

The 4 x 4 embroidery bed

The 4 x 4 embroidery bed

The 70 built in embroidery designs are instantly doubled when you consider the mirror image feature and compounded even further with the addition of the three different alphabets and six alphanumeric fonts.

Flash drive and embroidery card attachment feature

Flash drive and embroidery card attachment feature

Add to that the fact that the user can create their own embroidery designs and load them onto the Sofia2 with a thumb drive or use one of the many embroidery cards available on the market, and the user has instant access to an infinite number of embroidery designs.

In addition to the embroidery hoop included in the accessories kit, the user has the option of purchasing additional embroidery hoops.

The smallest embroidery hoop available from the manufacturer is 1” x 2.5”. The largest is a 6” x 4” multi-position hoop.

When you consider the easy of operation, the ease of caring for the Sofia2, the light weight and the affordable price, there is little wonder that this machine has five stars.

This reviewer could not find a single thing wrong with this machine or to put it more delicately… we could not find a single thing that we would change about the Sofia2.

Indeed, the Sofia2 is very easy to operate, but we feel that with all of the decorative stitch and embroidery options, this machine is best for someone who already knows the basics of clothing construction and home dec sewing.

The Sofia2 is ideal for the home sewer who has limited experience with machine embroidery and decorative stitching.

It is also an excellent choice for the home sewer who is ready to move up to a machine that can thread its own needle, adjust its own tension, can be set to stop with the needle up or down, has a start/stop button to replace the foot pedal or any of the other almost countless features that are available on the Sofia2 but were not available several decades ago.

This is by far one of the best machines available today. Many machines can perform many of the same functions, but for the ease of operation and all of the features available on the Sofia2, it may not be possible to find a machine as durable and long lasting as the Sofia2 by Baby Lock.

We looked at this machine from every conceivable angle, checking each and every one of its features and specifications.

Accessories of Sofia2 by Baby Lock

Accessories of Sofia2 by Baby Lock

After all of that, we found that the Sofia2 is everything the manufacturer and retailer said it was.

The fact that we had to make a shift in our technique to accommodate the placement of the presser foot lever is a minor inconvenience – so minor, in fact, that it is not even worthy of a mention as a deterrent to potential owners.

Our only observation is, “We hope Baby Lock does no do anything to try to improve on this machine. It is perfect just as it is.”

8 Comments

  1. I don’t really consider myself an experienced sewer, more of a craft quilt maker. I was sewing on a singer I bought in high school on clearance 20 years ago at a local dept. store. I wasn’t planning on buying a machine, but this Baby Lock Sofia 2 caught my eye and the price was hard to pass up. Since having it at home, I feel like I should start an “Embroiderer’s Anonymous” club!! This thing is so easy to use and fascinating to watch! I can’t say enough about how great this machine is and easy to use. Not to mention the finished product. I’ve hardly used it to actually sew but have had tons of fun embroidering!!!

  2. I do like my sofia2 but not today ny needle will not thread automatically I have done everything I am suppose to do and it will not thread what am I doing wrong

  3. Hello, Wendy –

    Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight. If you are certain you are ding everything right, you might want to contact your local Baby Lock dealer and ask the repair technician if he/she has any suggestions. It is entirely possible that you may need to take it in to be checked out.

    Happy Stitching.

  4. I am shopping for a Baby Lock Sewing Machine. I am concerned about the automatic threader. I have a Janome now that the threader is no longer dependable even though I took it to my local BabyLock dealer for repair. I was told the parts to these threaders are no longer available and to be very gentle with it. It didn’t work for a full day after the repair. I am afraid to invest in a BabyLock that will do the same thing. I am visually impared and simply cannot thread a machine without an auto threader.

    • Hello, Judith and Wendy –

      Thank you for sharing your concerns on Sewing Insight.

      The good news is every single day, sewing machine manufacturers are coming up with ways to improve upon their products. The bad news is anything made by human hands will eventually wear out or break down. Automatic needle threaders are wonderful added features and from what I’ve been able to observe, they are all very sensitive.

      I, too have a challenge when threading needles from time to time. I have two vintage heavy duty metal machines and a serger. All of them were made before automatic needle threaders were invented. I keep an old fashioned needle threader next to each one. When my eyes decide they don’ want to navigate threading a needle, I grab the nearest needle threader and keep on going. My advise to anyone who has a sewing machine – whether it has an automatic needle threader or not – is to keep one of these gadgets close by. They are dirt cheap and can save you a lot of time and frustration.

      Happy stitching.

  5. I just got a babylock Sofia2 as a gift, I’ve been using it maybe a week and I’ve noticed my embroidery letters are not sewing right, lately it’s been bunching up in one spot and making a big knot, also when it traces a letter to sew it doesn’t fallow the trace, I’m not happy at all since it’s brand new.

  6. I would like to add more decorative stitches to my machine, like stars, moons, but can not find any where that they are available. Can any one help with this?

  7. I have had Sophia for less then a year and I am spending more time ripping out seams then sewing. It starts out o.k. then just tangles on the backside. I have read instructions for making a bobbin umpteen times and taken the screws out to clean under the plate many times (which is difficult anyway.) I took the classes where I bought the machine and am grateful for that but getting really frustrated with this machine. This machine just feels mickey mouse compared to the Pfaff I had for years.

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