The Babylock Brilliant is, as its name implies, a brilliant machine. It has features which will appeal to advanced sewists looking to upgrade, but it’s also easy enough to use that beginners will not be overwhelmed.
In day’s past, you would’ve spent thousands to get features which come standard on this machine. Though, even when compared to other modern machines, it’s still an incredible deal.
Machines with similar features from better known brands, like the Juki DX7, will run you $500 more than the capable, reliable, and very similar Babylock Brilliant.It’s also surprisingly powerful for the price.
The Babylock Brilliant makes short work of thick rolls of denim, and the presser foot lifts up high enough to accommodate nearly any project you can imagine.
You can even fit a whole finger underneath the presser foot at its maximum height – good luck doing that on a vintage machine!
Advanced features – Beginner Friendliness
While the Babylock brilliant has a ton of great features, one of its finest features is actually that everything on it is very easy to use.
However, that does not by any means imply that this machine is limited in it’s performance – far from it, actually.
The Brilliant simply excels at putting helpful reminders in just the right places, like the dust cover, which helps to keep pesky household debris like cat hair from clogging up your machine.
However, it also contains an excellent quick reference, giving you instructions on how to thread the machine, and the reference numbers for the Babylock Brilliant’s plethora of stitches – saving you from digging out the instruction manual.
The machine also features an easy drop-in, jam-proof bobbin, and a little lever which threads the needle for you.
Features such as these are a sigh of relief to the overwhelmed and frustrated newbie – but even for advanced sewers – these small, useful features are a blessing.
In addition, the machine features a handy start/stop button which can be used as a replacement for the foot pedal control, but also in conjunction with a number of other helpful single-button-press features like auto-tie off, reinforcement stitch, and automatic thread cutting.
You set your chosen options, then the press the button to tell the machine when you want these actions performed.
This button is also another one of those handy but subtle cues for those who are still learning how to sew.
The button illuminates green when the machine is ready, but is red if you’ve forgotten to do something, like perhaps lower the presser foot. Oops!
Likewise, the machine’s speed control feature, while useful for everyone – will be especially helpful if you are still learning.
Being able to slow down the machine is valuable for detail work like applique, but also so that the machine does not get away from you, causing frustration.
Once the speed control is set, the foot pedal control will not go beyond this speed – allowing you to limit yourself during the learning process, but still offering good speeds when you’re ready to progress.
At full speed the Babylock Brilliant sews at a respectable 850 stitches per minute, which is plenty fast for most people’s needs.
Likewise, beginners will also find the Babylock Brilliant helpful when learning to use new stitches for their projects.
That’s because the graphic on the LCD screen will actually change to alert you when it’s time to switch out the sewing foot for one of the other included 14 feet.
Gentle reminders, like this one, help new sewists to learn, but don’t impede experienced user’s enjoyment.
Complete List Of Sewing Feet Included With The Babylock Brilliant
- Button Fitting
- Stitch Guide
- Open Toe
- Zig Zag
- Adjustable Zipper/Piping
- 1/4″ Quilting
- Blind Stitch
- Free Motion Quilting
A Variety Of Projects At Your Fingertips
While the Babylock Brilliant is very easy to use, it has plenty of features to help you grow as well. If you’re keen to try your hand at quilting for example, a wide throat sewing machine helps a lot.
This is the distance between the right of the needle and the sewing arm. Having more space here makes it much easier to maneuver and roll bulky projects like quilts. The Babylock Brilliant has 8.3″ of throat space for you to use and abuse!
And, while we’ve already talked about how the Babylock Brilliant handles thick layers of fabric, well, brilliantly, the truth is – most sewing machines worth your money will do this as well.
This includes vintage sewing machine which are notoriously high-powered and cut through leather like butter.
However, something you may not have thought about is more delicate fabrics. Many machines, like vintage ones, do not have the right stitches to handle stretch fabrics, whose seams will tear if you try to sew them using a simple straight stitch.
Fortunately, the Babylock Brilliant comes with – the tri-motion stitch.
This stitch automatically stitches up twice, and then reverses for one stitch, allowing your seams to stretch with the fabric and prevent any ripping.
It’s a great feature to have if you want to sew more modern blended fabrics for leggings, swimsuits, etc.
In total, the Babylock Brilliant features 190 stitches + 10 one-step button holes for you to use for your projects.
This includes the above tri-motion stitch for stretch fabrics, several different straight stitches, a blanket stitch, overcasting stitch, decorative stitches, and combination stitches.
What’s that you ask?
Well, in the past, you’d need to do your straight stitch, and then go back over it with a zig zag or a serger. Using a combination stitch eliminates this double work, AND you won’t need an additional serger machine either.
Another thing I really like about this machine is that there’s no need to slowly thumb through the stitches every time.
Instead, you can use your quick reference on the lid and just type in the reference number of the stitch you’d like to use.
That can be useful if you want to quickly combine and save your own stitches to use in the future.
Which, by the way, is not just limited to structural stitches, but can also be used for decorative ones!
You are free to combine decorative stitches in new patterns and save them to the machine to make something unique for your projects.
You can also save custom stitch lengths and widths as new defaults, up to 7mm widths and 5mm lengths.
This machine is also free motion capable, which allows you to sort of “free draw” using the sewing machine.
You can use this feature to make pretty much anything, and it’s pretty cool to have. See this feature in action below!
Or, if that’s not really your thing – you can also take advantage of several built-in lettering fonts for monogramming.
This is a great option if you want to do simple lettering and customization but you don’t want to pay more money to get a separate embroidery machine.
In closing, the Babylock Brilliant is a powerful, capable and reliable machine that’s very affordable for what it offers.
Maintaining it is easy, and it offers very little in the way of problems which a good cleaning can’t fix.
We are awarding this machine a 5 star rating and consumers have given it a 4.8 star rating overall.
PS. The above link will take you to our preferred vendor, Sewing Machines Plus. They offer a 30 day price match guarantee, free same day shipping for most orders, AND – no sales tax outside of California – which is a pretty big savings for consumers!
Full Babylock Brilliant Features
|Adjustable Stitch Width (Up To 7mm)||Adjustable Stitch Length (Up To 5mm)||Custom Programmable Stitches|
|Drop Fee/Free Motion Quilting||Free Arm||Speed Control (Up To 850 SPM)|
|190 Stitches||10 One-Step Buttonholes||5 Alphabets|
|Hands-Free Knee Lift||Foot Pedal||Start/Stop Button|
|Jam-Proof, Drop-in Bobbin||Advanced Needle Threader||Automatic Thread Cutter|
|Retractable Feed Dogs||Programmable Reverse Stitch||Programmable Needle Up/Down|
|14 Sewing Feet||Soft Cover||LCD Screen|
Babylock Brilliant FAQ
The machine is plenty powerful for pretty much all tasks. It will sew through multiple layers of denim with no effort. Though you should make sure you are selecting the right needle for your fabric – as this does make a big difference in performance!
Yes, you can, but you might need a few accessories. Make sure to use a teflon foot to keep it from getting stuck, and get a dedicated leather needle for the machine. You’ll also want to use polyester or nylon thread, because the tanins in leather will erode cotton, ruining your projects.
Babylock machines are made in Japan.
No, it does not. It DOES allow you to use lettering for monogramming or sewing labels, but it’s not an embroidery machine. If you’d like a good dual-purpose Babylock sewing AND embroidery machine, try the Babylock Verve instead!
Consumers have given this machine a 4.8/5 rating and experienced very minimal issues with it. Based on the features and price tag – we have done the same and see it as an exceptional value when compared to similar machines.
This machine comes with 14 sewing feet. Buttonhole, overcasting, monogramming, zipper, zig zag, blind stitch, button fitting, walking, free motion quilting, stitch guide, adjustable zipper/piping, nonstick, open toe, and 1/4″ quilting.
Reported issues were minimal, and mostly related to cleaning the machine. Though one consumer did report they felt the LCD screen was too dim – which may be an issue if your vision is poor. Otherwise, consumers reported being overwhelmingly happy with the machine and the features it offers.
If you need a machine with more throat space for quilting – try the Babylock Jazz!
I hope that this was review was helpful to you in making a decision, BUT if it turns out the Babylock Brilliant was not the machine for you – make sure to check out our Babylock sewing machine reviews page!
We’ve done write ups on a number of other machines from this brand, and you can use that page to easily compare their features and find what you need.
Barbie Koehler learned to love sewing from a young age in home economics. Though only recently did she decide to start blogging about that experience. She loves quilting, and spending free weekends at the lake with her grand kids.