Tools / Video

Video: BabyLock Imagine Serger Review—is it worth the price?

BabyLock Imagine is a premium overlock/serger that costs twice as much as most regular domestic sergers. But how good is it and is it worth the hefty price? I bought mine at the beginning of 2017 and there was definitely some trepidation, in Sweden this serger cost twice the price, and even more, compared to other household sergers. So in today’s video, I dive deep into the pros an cons of this popular and pricey serger.

Topics covered in this BabyLock Imagine review

  • Air treading/auto threading
  • Automatic tension, pros and cons
  • Settings
  • Tips for threading
  • Stitches, such as overlock, rolled hem, flatlock and more
  • The needle threading function
  • Price and if I feel it is worth investing in
  • How it compares to my previous serger
  • And lots more!

Do you own a BabyLock machine and what are your thoughts on the quality vs price of this brand?


  • Ella
    August 12, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Thanks for this — was just this morning trying to decide whether to bite the bullet and buy a babylock!

    • Johanna
      August 12, 2018 at 6:44 pm

      Wow, yes it is an overwhelming decision for sure! But even though it hurt my wallet badly, I have not regretted it. Hopefully, my review has been able to give you some clarity on whether or not you should bite the bullet 🙂

  • Pam Ellen Hudson
    August 12, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    I’ve been wanting a baby lock since 2010 and really enjoyed your insightful review!

    • Johanna
      August 12, 2018 at 6:47 pm

      Oh, I can relate to your longings! I tried my best to do a review that really explains the features and why it is regarded as a premium product but also highlight the fact that it is soo expensive and acknowledge that this can be a hindrance. I have not regretted getting it one second, but I just wish it was priced a tad bit lower.

  • Mary Nanna
    August 12, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    I have a babylock overlocker and coverstitch so I hear your pain twice over about the price point compared to other brands. In my opinion there is no choice – you never regret buying quality tools. I have never had to have my overlocker fixed, except once when it came back from its service and something had happened during the service. It has been a dream working perfectly and flawlessly for the past 15 years. My babylock coverstitch has been a different proposition – I miss the auto threading, the auto tension – it’s much more fussy and it’s taken me a while to get to know how to work to get reasonable results. Still I imagine if I’d bought another brand I would have had even more problems adjusting!

    • Johanna
      August 13, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      That is very true and it really speaks volumes that a brand this costly seem to have no buyers remorse happening, especially with the sergers. And yes coverstitch is just a trickier machine, regardless of brand I think. When I interviewed garment workers for my upcoming coverstitch book, they said that the coverstitch machine was the worst!

  • Nancy Karpen
    August 13, 2018 at 3:11 am

    I bought a Baby Lock Imagine about a month ago. My 15 year old Viking serger needed to be fixed since it stopped making a stitch. and I decided it was the perfect excuse to buy a Baby Lock Imagine. I had read all of the reviews on this machine and the Juki which was an air thread as well. I like the Imagine better, and was willing to pay quite a bit more for it. I brought a ton of fabric samples with me to try and it easily sewed everything from silk georgette, a rolled hem, to heavy wool. without so easily I was thrilled. I love the air threading and the needle threader is great for my aging eyes. I’ve only had to fine tune the tension for one fabric so far; a fiddly coated knit and it was easy to get it right. I took it home, watched the free video and was able quite easily to serge all of the stitches easily. The only thing I don’t care for is using a regular slot screwdriver to tighten the needles. It’s not as bad as my on my Jaonme cover stitch machine, but annoying. My old Viking had a set screw which was much easier to use. It’s been easy to use and the only thing that seems odd is not adjusting the tension. It’s easy to convert to a 2 thread stitch. There are no instructions for making a 2 thread rolled hem, but it’s easy to do and my dealer had printed out instructions on how to do it. I’m glad I bought it.

  • Nancy Karpen
    August 13, 2018 at 4:56 am

    I didn’t really answer your question, Do I think that it’s worth the price? Mostly. It is easy to use. I don’t use the flatlock stitch at all and so I haven’t done it and can’t say if mine has issues. After buying this I realized that there is another model, seemingly similar to the Imagnine but with adjustable tension. I would have certainly tried it out. The most popular Baby Lock machines seem to be the big combo machines, but honestly aside from being way over my price range, I like my Janome cover stitch machine and having a separate machine. is far easier. The Enlighten is probably more popular with a lot of people because of the wave stitch. I was certainly not willing to pay a lot extra for a fancy stitch I have no use for. It’s not my style.

    • Johanna
      August 13, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      I had no idea there was a adjustable tension model available, now I am having buyers remorse too! Thought I don’t think it is readily available in Sweden, BabyLock is just recently getting a foot in on the Swedish market. And yes the price for the combo models is just so insanely high, I just could not see that happening in my future. But those who own one seem to love them a lot!

  • Helen
    August 14, 2018 at 8:37 am

    I have the Babylock Enlighten overlocker which I love (previously had a Husqvarna which was a bear to thread) and the Babylock Coverstitch (wish it had jet threading!).Love both my Babylocks.

  • JypseaRose
    August 15, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    I bought the Babylock Evolution back in 2009-ish and felt so guilty about spending that kind of money on it, I hid it under my sewing table for about 6 weeks. I had no idea how I was going to tell my husband I paid $2500 for it! Especially since this was my first serger and I didn’t know how to use one. However, I did break it out and began learning about it and all I can say is I’m more than happy with it. I just had it in for servicing and the technician sent a handwritten note back saying “VERY nice machine!” I see the exact same model on EBay a lot and used they’re going for around $2500 so it is holding its value almost 10 years on.

    The second reason for spending the money (for me, at least), is that I *knew* sewing was something I wanted. I was extremely dissatisfied with off the rack, nothing fit and I don’t relate to the styles out there. I figured I’d have to be able to make my own clothes. I’m self taught, as you know, it’s a difficult skill to master. Most times, I would cry and want to throw the machines out the window. You should have seen my earlier creations…for a number of years!!…in the end, I would make myself go back and try again because I spent good money on my machines and had way too much invested. Quitting was not an option. Today, my entire wardrobe is me made and I get compliments on my clothes.

    My philosophy on equipment one is going to use regularly is “Cry once when you buy it. Pay for quality.”

  • Kathy Burns
    August 19, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    I have a Evolutuon I purchased from a dealer used. Love love it. I used to spend hours threading my old Elna – I would get so stressed I had to take breaks and go at it again.

    • Johanna
      August 21, 2018 at 9:01 am

      Oh lucky you, getting an Evolution used sounds like a dream! And I totally feel you on the threading, it was the same with my old Pfaff serger, and the littlest thing would totally screw up the stitches.

  • Anita
    August 23, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Hy I am very happy finding your Block especially your Video about
    The Babylock serger. I bought One a few months ago and it is amazing. The only thing I am needing helps is with the Automatic needel treathing. I can do the air treathing but the needles it just does not work. Can you help me? Besides I am from Austria and I Love your Block. Anita

  • Mary Ellen
    April 16, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Hi Joanna, thanks to your review I realized that I’m not the only one having trouble with the flat lock stitch. Your comment made me continue seeking an answer. Today I got a call from someone at Babylock who solved the problem for mr! Perhaps you already have learned the answer to but in case you haven’t, the way to get the tension adjustment you were wanting is accomplished by a very odd threading technique. It is illustrated in the quick guide but is so counter intuitive that I never would have recognized it without help. You need to run the needle thread throug the upper looper guide before going through the normal needle guide. Both the needle thread and the upper looper thread go through the same channel.

    • Johanna
      April 18, 2019 at 11:22 am

      Yes I use that threading, and I too didn’t figure it out at first, because I didn’t look closely on the illustrations. That said I still miss the opportunity to tamper with the tensions, since I cannot get it to lie flat on thicker fabrics, which I could with my older serger


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