Number of Needle Positions
Number of Four-Step Buttonholes
Number of Feet Included
Machine Only Weight
Total Number of Stitches
Feeding System Type
Machine Only Height
Maximum Stitch Length
Machine Only Width
Bobbin Loading Type
Machine Only Depth
Presser Foot Type
Sewing Bed Width
Free Arm Capability
Walking Foot Size
Thread Cutter Type
Number of Needles
Review and Comparison
Baby Lock sergers and coverstitch are known to be some of the best machines in their field, but did you know that their sewing machines are just as great! We believe that the Baby Lock Zest Sewing Machine from the Genuine Collection is not only one of the best machines for beginners, but it is also a great machine for those that love traveling to sewing clubs and classes.
In this article we will compare the Baby Lock Zest Sewing Machine to three similarly priced sewing machines: The Singer M3500, the Brother FB17557T, and the Bernette Sew and Go 1, all of which can be found on our website.
All four of these machines have similar capabilities. Some of the features that all new sewers should look for in a sewing machine are the types of stitches they will have to sew with, the durability of the machine itself for its purpose, and the ease of working the machine.
The largest difference in each of these machines would be the amount of stitches any one can create. The two most important stitches for any sewer will always be the straight stitch and the zig zag stitch, which all machines will include.
The Baby Lock Zest has 15 unique stitches that can set any project apart. This does not seem like a lot compared to other more expensive machines that can hold over a hundred different stitches, but this machine does have all the essential stitches plus a few decorative extras. The Baby Lock Zest has five more stitches then Bernette Sew & Go 1, but it does have fewer than Singer’s M3500 at 32 stitches and Brother’s FB17557T at 17. However, when a sewing machine offers too many stitches, it could mean complicated electronics, which means more things could go wrong. Baby Lock Zest offers a great amount of stitches for the beginner sewer.
Another difference between the four sewing machines is the steps to create a buttonhole. The Baby Lock Zest, much like the Brother FB17557T and the Bernette Sew & Go 1, have a four-step buttonhole stitch, while the Singer M3500 has only a one-step stitch. The time to create a buttonhole will essentially be the same; however, the difference is the sewer using a four-step will have to manually change the steps to sew each of the four sides of a buttonhole, while the one-step machine automatically moves from one step to the next without having to stop.
Common Comfort Features
There are many common comfort features that one should look for in a new modern sewing machine, which all four of these machines include.
Manual Stitch Selector
- All four machines have a manual stitch selection which lets you easily see what stitch your needle is set to.
Bobbin Widening & Bobbin Set
- Each also has an automatic quick set bobbin widening at the top of the machine to easily wind the thread on the bobbin, and has a front loading bobbin instead of a drop-in.
Attached Thread Cutter
- All four sewing machines include a thread cutter on the side of the machine to easily cut thread after sewing.
- On each of these sewing machines you can easily remove the flatbed, and use the free arm to easily hem those hard to reach areas on pants or sleeves.
Extra Feets Included
- All four include four different foot attachments. All have the buttonhole foot, the zipper foot, and the zig zag or all-purpose foot. The Baby Lock Zest includes a blind hem foot as its fourth, while the Singer M3500 and Bernette Sew & Go 1 include a button sew on foot as their fourth.
Any four of these sewing machines would be a great machine for the beginner sewist. However, as a novice sewer, you may want to take sewing classes or join a sewing club, and the Baby Lock Zest has a unique feature that none of the other machines include. The Baby Lock Zest includes a handle on the machine itself that makes it easily portable for classes or clubs and the sewing machine only weighs thirteen pounds. The removable flatbed also acts as storage for any extra needles, foots, or tools that you may want to bring along. The Baby Lock has all the essential stitches and feet that any beginner would need, without having too many to get overwhelmed. It is one of the best machines that is relatively simple to maintain and adjust.