Baby Lock Celebrate Review: A Serger Sewing Machine To Toast?

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Who says a serger has to be complicated to use? The Baby Lock Celebrate removes many of the difficult parts of serger operation and leaves all the fun. Of course it’ll cost you. Baby Lock machines don’t come cheaply, and this model is no exception. Is it worth it? Let’s find out in our latest serger review.

About the Baby Lock Celebrate

baby lock celebrate serger

Although overlocking machines have been around since the nineteenth century, small home sergers are a fairly recent invention. Baby Lock made some of the first.

Starting with a wooden prototype in 1956, Baby Lock released their first working model, the EF-205, onto the market in 1967. This model had one needle and two threads. [1]

Overlockers in general, and Baby Lock sergers in particular, have come a long way since then.

Baby Lock invented the air-threading system in 1993. It was so unprecedented that it won the Invention Grand Prix in Japan that year. [2]

Today there are other self-threading sergers. Some even use a similar air-threading technology. But Baby Lock was the first, and for many users, they’re the only game in town.

As nifty as air-threading is, it’s not the only labor-saving innovation you’ll find on the Baby Lock Celebrate. This machine is full of surprises, tweaks, and conveniences that make using this serger a pleasure.

  • Self-threading loopers
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Fast 1,500 stitches per minute stitching speed
  • Built-in rolled hem
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure and height
  • Easy tension adjustment system
  • Heavy duty cutting knife with larger bite capability
  • Really decent accessories pack
  • Price is out of reach for many home sewists

Who is the Baby Lock Celebrate For?

baby lock celebrate coverstitch serger review

Baby Lock’s current lineup of overlockers consists of six sergers and two coverstitch machines. The Celebrate is in the middle of the range, between the entry-level Vibrant and the ultra-premium Accolade.

Baby Lock makes expensive machines, no question. You might pay more for a gently used Baby Lock serger than you would for a brand-new serger from certain other manufacturers. But their machines are well-made and packed with innovative labor-saving features. They also hold their value well.

After reading about some of these conveniences, you might be tempted to think that the Baby Lock Celebrate is for beginners. And learners will certainly appreciate the trouble-free introduction to serging that this model can provide.

looper drive baby lock celebrate
babylock celebrate micromatic tension

At the same time, the Celebrate doesn’t have the built-in limitations that one might expect from a learner’s machine. 

Rather, the conveniences simply get the bother out of the way so that learners and experienced sewists alike can get on with the creative part of sewing without wrestling with loopers and tension disks.

To wit, if you’re starting a business, time is money. Not having to spend five minutes here and there rethreading your loopers and needles will save you not only aggravation in the long run, but also money.

The price of most Baby Lock sergers puts them out of reach for many beginning and casual users. But if you don’t want to slow down to tinker with your machine — or if you can’t afford to lose the time doing so — then it will be money well spent.

Let’s have a look at what you get, shall we?

What’s in the box? 

Accessories that come with the Baby Lock Celebrate 2-3-4 serger, include:

  • Foot Control
  • Lint brush/needle insert tool
  • Needles
  • Looper threading tool
  • Screwdriver
  • Four spool caps
  • Allen wrench
  • Four sponge disks
  • Screwdriver
  • Tweezers
  • Four thread nets
  • Two needle clamp screws
  • Replacement upper cutting blade
  • Four cone holders
  • Soft dust cover

Technical Specifications

Do You Need a Premium Serger?

Although the Baby Lock Celebrate is in the middle of Baby Lock’s current line of offerings, its features and price put it in the premium range for sergers in general. 

It’s a lot of machine for the money. But do you need that much machine?

Ask yourself: who are you as a sewist? And what are your serger needs? Be honest, here.

Budget Level

brother 1034d

Are you mainly interested in finished seam edges? Are you an occasional user? Do you typically work with medium-weight fabrics and just want to get the job done? Are you comfortable figuring out a new technology?

And, most importantly, do you have a limited equipment budget?

If so, then you probably don’t need a premium serger. In fact, you could probably get by with a budget 2-3-4 or even a 3-4 serger like the Brother 1034D.


janome 634d mylock serger

A mid-level serger is a better choice for sewists who want to experiment. Mid-level sergers typically have more features, more built-in stitches, more thread options, and more versatility.

If you’re thinking about different types of fabrics, decorative stitches, and perhaps some unorthodox uses for those sealed seams, then you’ll have to step up from a budget model.

A good example of a mid-range serger is the Janome MyLock 634D.

Premium Sergers

This is one way in which buying a serger is different from buying a regular sewing machine. When you’re looking at standard sewing machines, the appliances that are simplest and easiest to use are often the least expensive.

This is because the sewing machines that are easiest to use are the ones with the fewest features. They have a small number of manual controls. They do the job, often doing it well, but options are very limited.

But sergers are complicated, full stop. And if you want a serger that will make serging simple by doing the tedious parts for you, then you’ll need to go premium.

The easiest-to-use sergers have more features, not fewer. And those features are designed to remove the complexities that sergers are famous for, including threading, tension adjustment, and stitch width selection.

The Baby Lock Celebrate is a premium serger, and it’s reflected in the price. But if you want a powerful, versatile machine that will start you sewing fabulous creations right out of the box with a minimum of fuss, then this is the type of machine you need.

Features and Benefits of the Baby Lock Celebrate

I feel like I’m gushing a bit. Still, the Celebrate reminds me of a Tesla when compared to my own Subaru of a serger. It has a lot of really neat features, and it’s very sleek and sexy.

Here are some of our favorite bits:

2-3-4 Thread Serging

The most common type of home serger sews with two, three, or four threads. Certain budget models use three or four threads only. Some premium models can sew with five or more threads.

The Baby Lock Celebrate is capable of two-thread, three-thread, and four-thread stitching. And that’s more than enough of most home serging needs. 


baby lock celebrate jet air threading

When I purchased my first serger, I once spent two hours cursing and flailing about because I couldn’t make an acceptable two-thread rolled hem. I had checked and double-checked the threading, taken out the threads and re-threaded several times, and used exactly the same settings suggested in the manual.

Guess what? Despite all my precautions, I had still managed to foul up one teeny, tiny thread guide for the lower looper. And it ruined everything.

The Baby Lock Celebrate has air-threading for both loopers. This means that you take the thread end, stick it into a little hole, press a button, and done. The Celebrate threads your loopers for you with no fuss.

Check it out.

If you’re frustration prone, or if you don’t have the time to spend learning to set up a new and extremely fiddly piece of equipment, then this feature alone may be worth the price of admission.

Automatic Needle Threader

The automatic needle threader goes hand in hand with air threading. Serger needles often sit at an angle (though on the Celebrate they do not). Furthermore, they’re often difficult to get to. Threading often involves squinting and tweezers. Urgh!

An automatic needle threader comes standard on most regular sewing machines. However, it’s always a pleasant surprise to find one on a serger. The Baby Lock Celebrate has an automatic needle threader, and that, too, can save you a lot of aggravation.

Stitch Width Selection Dial

baby lock celebrate adjustable stitch width

Most sergers have a dial to select stitch length. But to alter stitch width, many machines require you to remove, move, or switch out the stitch finger. 

The Baby Lock Celebrate has a dial that moves the stitch finger. It’s quick, easy, and effective. And no screwdrivers required.

Built-in Rolled Hem

Making a rolled hem often means another job for your screwdriver or hex wrench. But a serger with a built-in rolled hem, like the Baby Lock Celebrate, has a rolled hem setting that’s as easy as flicking a switch.

Adjustable Presser Foot Height and Pressure

The presser foot holds fabric against the feed dogs to keep it steady while it moves through the machine. Most sergers and sewing machines have a standard presser foot pressure that works for most types of fabric.

However, some fabrics, for example very thin or very thick fabrics, may work better with customized presser foot pressure. The Baby Lock Celebrate allows you to adjust the pressure of your presser foot to better tailor stitching to your fabric.

Likewise, most machines allow you to lift the presser foot only so high. But if you’re working with thick fabrics or multiple layers, you may want to lift that presser foot up a bit higher. And the Celebrate’s adjustable presser foot height can help.

Very Decent Accessories Pack

Finally, the accessories that come with many sergers tend to be on the minimal side. But Baby Lock includes a wealth of useful extras, including needles, replacement cutting blades, a screwdriver, a hex wrench, and more.

Alternatives to the Baby Lock Celebrate

As terrific as this machine is, there are a lot of home sergers on the market. With this in mind, one of these worthy competitors may fit your needs better:

Juki MO-1000

juki mo-1000 serger

The Juki MO-1000 is a premium 2-3-4 serger with a lot of excellent, labor-saving features. This machine is available at quite a range of prices at present. Depending on your retailer, it may cost a bit more, about the same or slightly less than the Baby Lock Celebrate.

Like the Celebrate, the Juki MO-1000 is a self-threading serger with an automatic needle threader. Other features include:

  • Quick-change two needle conversion
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure
  • Automatic rolled hemming

If you can get a good deal, this machine could provide similar ease of use at a lower price.

Singer Professional 14T968DC

singer 14t968dc serger machine

The Singer Professional 14T968DC doesn’t have air-threading. However, it does have two, three, four, and five thread stitching capabilities. On top of that, depending on your retailer, it may cost you slightly less or significantly less than the Baby Lock Celebrate.

What else does this model have to offer? 

  • 14 built-in stitches
  • Self-adjusting thread tension
  • Built-in rolled hem
  • Heavy duty metal frame
  • Free arm

If you want to explore those five-thread stitches, this could be a cost-effective way to do it.

Bernette Funlock B48 

bernette funlock b48

The Bernette Funlock B48 also lacks air-threading. But the right buyer may find that its other features more than make up for that.

The Funlock B48 is a combination coverstitch and overlock machine. Unusually for a coverstitch machine — and for a Bernette — it sits just below the price point of the Celebrate. 

Here are some of its excellent features.

  • 23 built-in stitches, including a chain stitch
  • Four types of wide stitches, with widths up to 10 millimeters
  • 87 millimeter sewing area to the right of the needle
  • Really decent accessories pack

If you’re all about the stitch designs, this model has enough to keep you busy for a long time.

Baby Lock Celebrate Review: Final Thoughts

babylock celebrate serger machine

You can spend a lot of money on a serger. The question is, however, what are you getting for that money?

With the Baby Lock Celebrate, the price includes a raft of labour-saving innovations that you’d be hard pressed to find on other models.

Is this the premium serger you’re looking for? If fast setup, powerful versatility, and ultimate ease of use are on your list, then the Baby Lock Celebrate might just be your new favourite machine.

baby lock serger celebrate review


  1. Consuendi GmbH Authors | Baby Lock History |
  2. Baby Lock | 50 years history of Baby Lock |

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