Getting to Know:
A-Line Series
Model BL23A
Baby Lock Consumer Helpline: 800-313-4110
Model BL23A
Whether you’re interested in decorating, fashion or sewing with an artistic flair, Maria is the
perfect machine to bring those ideas to life. This exciting multi-purpose machine includes
23 built-in stitches, a 1-step buttonhole and adjustable stitch widths. And with 5 included
accessory feet, Maria is outgoing enough to handle a variety of creative projects.
This Getting to Know Guide will take you through a simple, step-by-step process on how to
wind your bobbin, thread the machine, set stitches and more. Once you’re familiar with your
machine, refer to the instructions and reference guide (packaged with your machine) for
additional directions.
Like all machines in the A-Line Series, Maria has the features and the durability to handle all
of your projects – you can always count on her to be there for you. Be sure to ask your
Baby Lock Retailer about Maria's friends in the A-Line Series, like Natalie, Audrey, Lauren and
Grace. From classic tailored looks to modern-day fashions, the machines in the A-Line Series
will help you sew and serge with success – all with the quality you’ve come to expect from
Baby Lock.
Winding the Bobbin
1._Pull the handwheel out to the right.
2._Draw the thread from the spool. Guide the thread around the
bobbin winder thread guide.
3. Insert the thread through the hole in the bobbin from the inside to
the outside. Put the bobbin on the bobbin winder spindle.
4._Push the bobbin to the right.
5.With the free end of the thread held in your hand, lightly press the foot control. Stop the machine when it has made a few turns, and cut the thread close to the hole in the bobbin. This keeps it from
tangling in the bobbin case.
6.Press the foot control again until the bobbin is fully wound, and then stop the machine. Return the bobbin winder spindle to its
original position by moving the bobbin winder spindle to the left, and cut the thread.
7._Push the handwheel in to the left (original position).
Threading the Bobbin Case
1. Place the bobbin into the bobbin case. Make sure the thread unwinds in the direction of the arrow.
2. Pull the thread into the bobbin case slot.
3. Draw the thread under the tension spring and into the delivery eye.
* Leave about 4 inches of free thread.
Tension Spring
Delivery Eye
Removing & Inserting the Bobbin Case
1._Open the hook cover.
2._Raise the needle by turning the handwheel towards you. Take out the bobbin case by holding the latch.
3. When inserting the bobbin case, pull and hold the latch and then place the bobbin case into the
hook as far in as possible.
Threading the Machine
Raise take-up lever to its highest position by turning the handwheel toward you. Raise presser foot.
Place spool of thread on spool pin as shown, with thread coming from the back of the spool.
1. Following the numbers, thread the machine. Draw thread into thread guide using both hands.
2. While holding thread near spool, draw thread down into the tension area
and then around the check spring holder.
3.Firmly draw thread up and through the take-up lever from right to left.
4.Then draw thread down and slip it into the lower thread guide.
5. Draw thread down and slip it into needle bar thread guide on either right
or left side of needle bar.
6. Thread needle eye from front to back.
Note: You may want to cut the end of thread with sharp scissors for easier needle threading.
Using the Needle Threader
1.Raise the needle to its highest position by turning the handwheel towards you. Pull down the needle threader knob as far as it will go.
2.Turn the knob in the direction of the arrow in the illustration, and then insert the Threader hook
into the needle eye. Lead the thread around threader guide and under Threader hook.
Threader hook
Threader guide
3.Turn the knob in the direction of the arrow in the illustration, drawing the thread loop through the needle.
4.Pull the thread through the needle eye.
3 4
The needle threader can be used with a #11 to #16 needle or a Stretch needle103/705S.
Thread weight 50 to 90 should also work well.
Drawing Up the Bobbin Thread
1._Raise the presser foot and hold the needle thread lightly with your left hand.
2.Turn the handwheel slowly toward you with your right hand until the needle goes down and continue turning the handwheel until the take-up lever is at its highest position. Lightly pull up the needle thread to form a loop of bobbin thread.
3._Pull 6 inches of both threads back and under the presser foot.
Setting the Stitch
Stitch Pattern Selector Dial
Raise the needle above the fabric and match the desired
pattern with the setting mark by turning the pattern
selector dial.
Stitch Length Dial
Place the desired number at the setting mark by turning
the stitch length dial.
• The higher the number, the longer the stitch length.
• “ ” is the correct setting for buttonhole stitching.
• Adjust the stitch length dial in the 0.3 to 4 range when you sew the zig zag stitch.
Selecting Stretch Stitch Patterns
When sewing stretch stitches, set the stitch length dial at "S.S."
to sew the stretch stitch pattern correctly.
If forward and reverse feeding becomes unbalanced due to the
type of fabric, adjust the balance as follows:
• If patterns are compressed, turn the dial toward the "+".
• If patterns are drawn out, turn the dial toward "_".
Stitch Width Dial
Turn the stitch width dial to set the desired stitch width at
the setting mark. The higher the number, the wider the stitch
NOTE: Raise the needle above the fabric, when you turn the stitch width dial.
Variable Needle Positions
Select straight stitch "A" and turn the stitch width dial for
needle positions ranging from the center (when set on 5) to
the left position (when set on 0).
+ • S.S. • -
Starting to Sew
Straight Stitch Sewing
(1) Pattern selector dial: A or B
(2) Presser foot: Zig zag foot
(3) Thread tension: 2 - 6
(4) Stitch length: 1.5 - 4
(5) Stitch width: 0
1.Raise the presser foot and position the fabric next to a stitching guide line on the needle plate.
Lower the needle into the fabric. Lower the presser foot
and move the threads toward the back of the machine.
Press the foot control.
2. Gently guide the fabric along the guide line letting the
fabric feed by itself.
• For fastening the ends of seams, press the reverse
stitch button and sew several reverse stitches.
3.Raise the presser foot and remove the fabric, moving the
threads to the back. Cut the threads in the thread cutter on the face cover. The threads are cut the proper length for
starting the next seam.
4. To change the sewing direction, stop the machine and turn the
handwheel toward you to bring the needle down into the fabric.
Raise the presser foot. Pivot the fabric around the needle to change sewing direction as desired. Lower the presser foot and continue sewing.
Are you decorating your first home or want
to add some flair to your family room? Here's
an idea that won’t damage your budget. This
accent pillow can be created by recycling those
forgotten items in your closet!
Skill Level: Beginner
6. With the right sides of the 15" x 12" strips
together, stitch the three sections together to
form the pillow front piece.
• Baby Lock Maria Sewing Machine
• 1 to 3 old sweaters or sweatshirts
• Fusible knit interfacing
• Iron and ironing board
• All-purpose thread to match
• 6 large buttons
• 1/8” ribbon
• Hand needle
• Tapestry needle with large eye
• Stuffing for pillow
• Scissors
• Pins
7. Thread the tapestry needle with the ribbon.
Tie a knot in the end of the ribbon. Sewing
long stitches, stitch the ribbon through the
sweater fabric covering the seam. Tie a knot
at the end to secure.
8. Repeat for the other seam.
1. Fuse three 6” x 13” pieces of interfacing
to the wrong side of the sweater fabric
(following the manufacturer's directions).
2. Cut three 5” x 12” strips from the interfaced
section of the sweaters alternating the
colors or the direction of the weave/texture
of the fabric.
3. Then fuse one 16” x 13” piece of
interfacing to the wrong side of the sweater
fabric for the pillow back.
4. Cut one piece 15” x 12” for the pillow back
from the previous interfaced sweater fabric.
5. Thread the Baby Lock Maria sewing
machine with all-purpose thread.
Maria’s Pillow Continued
9. To sew the buttons by machine, attach the button sewing foot
(Figure 1), place the pattern selector on C, and lower the feed dogs* (Figure 2) on the machine.
Fig. 1
* Lowering the Feed Dogs:
(A) Open the bobbin cover.
(B) To drop the feed dog, pull down the drop
lever and move it to the right, as illustrated.
(C) To raise the feed dog, pull down the drop lever and move it to the left, as illustrated.
Fig. 2
10. Adjust the stitch width and turn the handwheel to check if the needle enters into each hole in the button.
Lower the foot to hold the button in place. The holes in the button should align with the slot of the foot.
11. Stitch several times, repeat for remaining holes on a four-hole button.
12. Repeat this process until all six buttons are secure. Remember to raise the feed dog after sewing.
13. Pin the front to back piece with the right sides together. Using a straight stitch, stitch around the outer edge
leaving an opening for stuffing.
14. Clip excess bulk and seam allowances from the corners.
15. Turn right side out. Stuff firmly.
16. Using a hand sewing needle and thread, stitch the opening closed.
For other exciting projects like this one, visit and