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I don’t have gadgets. I have tools.

Posted by on October 12, 2013

Sew Mama Sew has asked peeps for reviews on their sewing machines. All of the questions they wanted answered are sprinkled throughout the post. I hope you enjoy hearing uh, reading about it her. There is no compensation for this (but wouldn’t that be sweet?).

As one who is known more for her cooking than her sewing, I’m also known for the tools in my kitchen. They are old, new, common, extravagant, inexpensive, and not-so-much. By some claims I have a lot, but at least they’ve not signed me up for the show ‘Hoarders’ … yet. I believe in having the right tool for the right job. Now did I get that from my dad? Perhaps my husband? At any rate, it sounds very male, but I’m a firm believer.

In my studio, I feel the same way. Have the right tool for the right job. I was a sewist who hadn’t sewn in years, having moved on from costumes and curtains to the holiday Bûche de Noël, Italian Buttercreams, and cuisines from across the globe. I discovered foreign cuisines and specialty dishes and I still love the challenge of creating something delicious in my kitchen. I have plans to show you some of those tools, but not today. I’ll need to break you  in slowly. Ha!

Today is about my studio work horse. She is one I wasn’t so sure about in the beginning, but she has converted me, convinced me, and won my heart.

Sophia 2

I have a sewing table that fits onto my Sophia2. It helps to stabilize my fabric as I sew

I have a sewing table that fits onto my Sophia2. It helps to stabilize my fabric as I sew

I’d not sewn in years, the old Singer I had stored away for many years had rusted (it was never a quality machine but did what I needed at the time) and when the LQS said it was worth less than it would cost to clean it, I knew I’d need a new one. My first move was to buy a refurbished Brother sewing machine on-line and had to return two of them due to problems in the machines. I requested my money back, got it, and looked locally. I decided on a Baby Lock Sophia 2 sewing machine. She is the smallest of all the embroidery machines that Baby Lock offers. I wasn’t even convinced I wanted the embroidery function, but the lady at the LQS where I purchased her spoke magic and I said yes. I put her on lay-away and made payments. (Why yes the DO still have layaway. If I’d gone the pay [this] in [#] months, interest-free, I’m afraid I’d gone way over budget.) My husband paid her off for my birthday as a very sweet surprise. She was about $999, but I got her on sale for about $650, if I remember correctly. I’ve had Sophia for 2 years and can’t believe how much I’ve sewn with her. I’ve sewn denim, burlap, canvas, voile, knit, vinyl, lightweight cottons, and linen. She is a champ, I tell ya!

She’s a Work Horse with Flair

I had never had a self-threading machine, and I never thought it would be a big deal, but listen to me: it is a huge time saver and it’s AWESOME.  Not exaggerating. Not lying. If you can, get it. Baby Locks are also known for their ability to sew through thick layers. They say 8 and I’ve sewn 8 layers. You have to go slowly, but the machine performs. I’m also really glad to have the embroidery capability on the machine. I don’t really use a lot of the built-in art, I don’t like a lot of the cute stuff (no, there’s nothing wrong with cutesy!!), and my daughter doesn’t really like it, either. However, you can get software for additional art and fonts and create whatever your taste is! The machine comes with lots of attachments, but there are many more you can purchase. The machines does a ton more than I’ve discovered, I know. It will just take me spending the time to discover them.

Sophia2 embroiders within a 4x4 inch space. You can upload additional fonts & art

Sophia2 embroiders within a 4×4 inch space. You can upload additional fonts & art

Shudda Wudda Cudda ?

She has been exactly what I’d hoped for. Capable of doing what I wanted to do with the capability to do what I’d want to do next. For the person who is a quilter, please note that she doesn’t do well on larger than a lap size quilt nor does she embroider large pieces. The throat isn’t large and there is only one hoop size –  4″x4″ size. If I could get another machine, what would it be? I would love a Janome Memory Craft 9900. The Memory Crafts are beautiful and do everything I’d want to do, I believe. I try not to daydream about them. Baby Lock has a ton of beauties, too, and the Bernina 880 (this one, friends, is no joke! It’s amazing!) My LQS has them all. All lined up to tempt every person who walks in the doors. They carry quality machines and they each have special functions.  Baby Lock. Bernina. Janome. These beauties are investments. You know what I mean by that, yes?

No Regrets

If you have any questions about the Baby Lock Sophia 2, let me know. Really. I’ve not found her lacking in anything that I really need, whether I’m making pillows, purses, clothing, home decor. She’s a delight.


Oh! Have I told you about my serger? Have I told you I don’t know how to use it yet? How’s that for planning ahead?

Enjoy your week-end!



7 Responses to I don’t have gadgets. I have tools.

  1. Crystal

    GREAT post! Makes me want to run out and find one for myself. Really, truly.

    • Terry

      Thanks, Crystal! I didn’t want it to sound like a commercial (there was no commission), but she really has been great without any down time for repair. I’ve learned there are a lot of really great machines out there for everyone’s budget. Thanks again for commenting!

  2. Domenica

    Thanks for the great post. I haven’t seen Baby Lock in Australia. Is it under the Bernina brand at all?

    • Terry

      Hi, Domenica! I’ve never heard or seen any implication they are affiliated in any way. I will check, though and let you know what I find. That’s a great question as I, too, like to know if ‘competitors’ are actually under the same owner umbrella.

      Thanks for stopping by! I hope to ‘see’ you again sometime!

  3. Stacy Galicic

    I’m so glad you love it. I’m picking my Sophia 2 this Saturday! I can’t wait to bring her home!

    • Terry

      How fun! Did you get yours from a LQS (local quilt store)? I did and they provide classes for new machines and I found it so helpful. If you ever have any questions, send me a message, I’d love to help. I never thought I’d use the embroidery function as much as I have, but it’s really a great addition to my sewing. Enjoy!!

      Thanks for stopping by to check out the post. I hope to see you again sometime!

  4. Donna

    Thanks for the review. I just ordered this yesterday, and was starting to have some doubts, but feel better after reading your review. Like you, I wondered if I will really use the embroidery function. I really do want to use the monograming function. My daughter has this machine, and she was able to order a larger hoop size than the 4×4 that comes with the machine. My “Brother” broke down as I was sewing through thick fabric, and was going to have to put nearly $200 or more to get it repaired. So I decided to go with “Sofia”. It will not be in until next week so I am excited about getting started. Thanks again for the positive comment. Donna

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