Baby Lock Maria... any thoughts?

ben_950February 19, 2009

I'm about to buy a sewing machine for general household needs... altering, mending, decor, etc. Stopped into a store today to see what was out there, and the sales lady showed be a Baby Lock Maria (used to be called the Design Pro model). It's not computerized and doesn't have a lot of advanced features, but I don't really need any of that. All I want is a machine that works when I need it to, and is sturdy enough to punch through a few layers of denim or canvas when I ask it to. Does anybody have any experience, good or bad, with this model?

I know Husqvarna Viking & Bernina are at the top, and Singers aren't what they used to be, but how do Baby Locks rate? Are my $300 better spent on something else?

Thanks for any advice,


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Ben, I just got my second Singer 99K...this one is from 1962 and goes thru denim like a knife thru soft butter....all for 50$. Check out craigslist-or request one on freecycle. Spread the word among ALL aquaintances. My landfill still has sewing machines passing thru.This 1962 does have reverse. My sewing is more functional than any of those machines with cams and computer cards. The old machines are metal-though heavy, a dream to me.

Have to admit bias, as I still like the old Singer treadle, no reverse...but a pleasure and works when the power is out!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 9:02PM
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Hello Ben, I would suggest that you take some samples of denim and canvas, and any other fabric you intend to sew, and but the machine you are looking at to the test. If I only had $300, I would take a serious look at used machines, but then that depends on how the Baby Lock Maria performs. It is at the low end of the Baby Lock line.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 9:18PM
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I get a little nervous about buying the low end of a sewing machine line, I'd rather get the lowest model of one of the mid range priced sewing machines, if that makes sense. If your dealer had a used Decorators Choice, that would most likely be a nicer machine than a new Maria.

I've had several students who were very happy with their Kenmore Sewing Machines, which I think are now being made by Janome (another brand to look at). But the one bad thing about Kenmore sewing machines is that you would have to buy it from Sears, or someplace like that--which would mean, no classes or support. But if you're ok with that, I'd consider looking at them.

Janome Sewing machines get good reviews, they cost a little more than Kenmore, but not as pricey as Viking, Pfaff and Berninas, and seem to have a good reputation and support.

Check out

Have fun picking.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 12:21PM
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Ben, Take a look at this month's Consumer Reports. They've done a sewing machine review. I would look at the Brother Innovis 40/ Babylock Grace. They are the same machines, made by Brother. This is a solid performing machine. I helped a friend purchase one for the same needs you have. She's a beginner, it has been an easy machine to learn, without the usual problems associated with a low cost machine. The cost is around $350. I had a Bernina 230 that CR rates higher, I like this one better. It's easier to use and less fussy, with an equivelent quality stitch. HTH, Todd

Here is a link that might be useful: Babylock Grace

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 12:53PM
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Thanks for all your advice. Looks like I might want to check out some used machines. I was told by someone that I shouldn't bother buying a machine for less than $1,000 because cheaper models just aren't reliable. Unfortunately I can't justify that price tag, I simply don't foresee using it "that" often.

I'm still leaning towards the Maria if a better used model doesn't appear. I will want to test drive it on some heavier fabrics in the store though.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 3:36PM
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