Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Baby Lock Jane Review

There’s a new baby in the house. A Baby Lock Jane that is. I’ve been sewing on it for about 3 weeks now and love, love, LOVE  it. Does anyone else sew on this machine? I’ll give you a tour of the machine and you can decide the pros and cons for yourself.

It’s a heavy duty straight stitching machine that can sew up to 1500 stiches per minute. It’s a beautiful sleek looking machine. The arm is a wonderful 9 inches long. The base and arm are metal so the machine feels solid and is a little on the heavy side. I don’t plan to carry it to any classes so it’s not an issue for me. The machine top and side covers are plastic.

IMG_0492Photo with the extension tray in place

The controls are straight forward and easy. On the right you will find the stitch length dial, reverse lever and feed dog adjustment knob. There are 4 settings for the feed dogs which includes a pin feed setting.

In the photo below you can also see the button for automatic thread cutting. This is handy when quilting. You can cut the threads and re-position without having to take the entire quilt out of the machine.

The other button is the needle up/down setting. You can set the needle to stop in the down position each time you stop sewing. I can’t imagine having a machine without this feature on it.

You probably noticed that there isn’t a speed control button. I’ve had no problem controlling the speed of this machine. It’s very easy to stitch slowly or take just one stitch and stop. Which brings me to the reverse button. The machine changes between forward and reverse on a dime. It doesn’t take any extra stitches in between like my other machines.

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The tension adjustment and foot pressure adjustment are on the left. There is a little window with a guide for the foot pressure adjustment. It has a coordinating chart to match feed dog settings and fabric types.

There is a separate switch for the light. I haven’t quite figured out what purpose that serves yet. Wouldn’t you always won’t the light on when the machine is on?

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On the upper right you can see the 2 spool holders and the built in telescoping thread guide. You can use small spools or cones on this machine.

You can also see the bobbin winder in this photo. You do have to stop sewing in order to wind bobbins. There isn’t a separate motor. Bobbins are metal and a little pricey at .75 each.

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Bobbin access is on the left side of the machine. There is a Quick Bobbin Thread Device above the bobbin. This cuts and sets the thread in just the right position to begin sewing. There is no need to bring the bobbin thread to the top of the machine. This makes things much faster and easier.

I will mention here that this machine doesn’t have a free arm. It’s not an issue for me but something you may need to consider.

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The bobbin area is easy to access even with the extension table in place.

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Below is a photo without a presser foot on the machine. It has a nice small needle hole on the plate since it only sews straight stitches. This keeps the fabric from being pulled down when your sewing. It’s fabulous for starting on the edge of fabrics when piecing.

The presser feet screw on and off. That’s a little bit of a hassle when doing a project where you have to change between several feet frequently. Of course, at high speeds you don’t want to accidentally have the foot fall off.

I personally think the needle threader is crap. The needle is positioned to thread left to right so you can easily use a hand held needle threader. I never use my automatic needle threaders anyway. I just thought I’d mention it for those that do.

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With daily use it recommends that the machine be oiled twice a month. There are 6 easy to locate points for oiling.

The machine comes with 8 feet:
Flex foot – I hemmed corduroys with this and it was a dream to sew over the thick seam
Walking foot – a little chunkier than my old one so it took some getting used to
Free motion foot – Love it!
General foot
1/4 inch foot
Rolled hem foot
Zipper foot
Invisible zipper foot

The extension table, knee lift lever, seam guide and cover are also included with the machine. I haven’t tried the knee lift lever or seam guide yet. The seam guide screws on with the presser foot and guides from above the fabric. It’s adjustable left to right and front to back.

If you've read this far your probably wondering about the fine print. This machine is in the $900-1000 range. It includes a 25 year limited warranty, 10 years on parts and 5 years electrical. You can find more about the machine on the Baby Lock website HERE.

I found it to be similar to the Juki machines. I do like the fact that I have a Baby Lock dealer nearby in case the need for service or questions arises. I do not work for Baby Lock and do not get any financial gain from writing my opinions. I just thought it might be of use if anyone is looking for a new machine.

11 comments:

Lynne said...

What fun - a new machine to play with!

Anonymous said...

I've been looking at buying the same machine. I am not a quilter but I do make rag quilts and my standard BabyLock Natalie doesn't fly over the million layers of flannel quite as easility as I think "Jane" would . My only hesitation in the price. I've heard that Brother makes something similiar. Have you done any comparisons ? Thank you. Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm confused about your comment that your Jane has needle-down button. My Jane only has needle-up when the light is on, or random when you push the button and turn the light off. The random is a little unnerving (LOL) never knowing where it's going to stop, so I leave it on needle-up which is the perfect spot for always having the thread tension released if you need to move or remove the project. Did they make different versions of Jane? The only thing I would wish for on mine is needle down to where I wouldn't have to turn the handwheel when I need to pivot. Thank you!

Leona said...

I have been going back and forth between this machine and a Juki. I have a Babylock Quest Plus that I LOVE and was wondering if you could email me back with the price on this machine.

Anonymous said...

Question: I'm considering buying the Baby Lock Jane to sew upholstery material. (I might recover my sofa.) What do you think?
Kathy

Stephanie said...

I have had my Jane for three months and love it! It does a great job of quilting. Mine has the needle down function which I use most of the time. The knee lift makes it so easy to pivot or move to another area of the quilt. It is so much fun to quilt with my new Jane!

Judith Blinkenberg said...

I have been trying to decide between a Jane and the Juki but like you said, finding someone to work on it is important. Thank you for all of this great information. It was very helpful.

Elizabeth said...

Do you still love this machine? I am interested in buying a straight stitch and my local sew n vac suggested this one!! I would love to know, if after all these years, you still love it!?

Carol said...

Yes. I still LOVE my Baby Lock Jane and it's still running like a dream.It's used almost daily as my primary sewing machine. It's really fast and strong. I've never had any trouble with it. It's been in to the shop only once for a good cleaning and tune up. I do keep it cleaned and oiled regularly myself.

Diane said...

Just purchased Jane last week. What a great machine! I have been searching for a month for something with a larger throat. This machine fits it. So glad I read your write up! You did a great job describing this machine. Thank you!

HauteMama said...

Hello! I'm a fairly new quilter and was given an entry level Singer Starlet a few years back and it just never sews or works properly. Frankly it's a nightmare and I spend almost as Much time ripping stitches as I do sewing! I've been drooling over this beautiful mechanical machine for two years now and your initial review with all the great pix pushed me over the edge. I want the needle up/ needle down and threw cutter features and this one has both. I don't need all the fancy trick stitches an electronic machine affords at this time. Jane is my girl. I'm buying it! Additionally, I'm thrilled to know that after a few years you are still in love with it. Thanks so much for taking so much time to review this machine so honestly and thouroughly for girls like me. You're awesome!