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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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 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.
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.
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.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
|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 Sofia2 by Baby Lock is one of the most reliable sewing and embroidery machines on the market.
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 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.
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.
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.”
- 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.
- Ideal for intermediate sewers
- Easy threading guide
- Digitally animated LCD screen
- Not capable of performing extra large embroidery jobs