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Is "insert sewing machine related item here" universal?

by Nicholas Myers on December 21, 2021

Are sewing machine needles universal?

Most sewing machine needles will work in the majority of sewing machines. There are some exceptions that you need to look out for such as if you are going to use a serger, longarm quilting or embroidery machine.

With embroidery needles they are specifically designed and feature a wider hole to allow for multiple thread strands to pass freely. These are also ideal for people who have a hard time seeing. 

Longarm quilting machines, like our Baby Lock Regalia and Coronet, take a round shank needle in contrast to a flat shank generally found in most household sewing machines. The round shank allows for more strength, but the trade-off being it is more difficult to attach. Groz-Beckert supplies a wonderful assortment of longarm quilting machine needles for brands like: Baby Lock, Handiquilter, APQS, and more.

When it comes to sergers/overlockers most use the same needle system as domestic sewing machines however some other sergers/overlockers use other needle systems. Each serger should have a manual that informs you on the type of needle you should use for that model, it is recommended you abide by what the manual states. There are a few different companies that make needles specifically for sergers, among those being Schemtz, Singer, and Klasse.

You can buy Klasse needles on our site here. While Klasse recommends tailors to use a Klasse Type G needles there are other options in the table below.

Code

Type

Size (all are 80/12)

A6170/80 

 Serger Type A

16x231/DBx1

A6171/80 

 Serger Type B

DCx1/81x1

A6172/80 

 Serger Type G 

Hax1/705H

 

 Serger Type J

ELx705

A6174/80 

 Serger Type K

2054/16x75

A6178/80 

 Serger Type E

HAx1SP

 

Are sewing machine feet universal/interchangeable?

The answer to this question is yes and no. While some feet may be interchangeable among some sewing machines not all of them are. Let’s dive a little deeper into this. 

Feet can comes in multiple kind of shanks, low, high, medium, and slant. Low shanks which measure at 1/2 inch and high shank which measures at 1 inch, medium are in between these and slant are larger than 1 inch. Most domestic machines are low shank while high shank machines are generally for embroidery machines that are high end and if you have one of these you’ll probably know what shank type it is. Medium shanks are generally found on Pfaff sewing machines and slant shanks are seen on vintage Singer sewing machines.

While the height of a shank may be one aspect into feet it’s not the only one. While most modern machines use snap on sewing presser feet older machines use screw-on feet which while are still easy to use might not be compatible with your machine. For example when it comes to Brother, Baby Lock, and Singer machines many of their feet can be interchangeable. 

Are sewing machine bobbins universal?

As wonderful as it would be for there to be a universal bobbin unfortunately they don’t exist. The bobbin that is closest to being universal is the L Class style which has a flat design and can fit in both top and front loading machines. 

It is not recommended to use bobbins other than what your machine is supposed to use. This is because while some machines can tolerate slightly different bobbins not all can and it could very well affect the quality of your project, or damage your machine. If you are not sure what bobbin you should use check your owners manual of your specific machine. Even among manufacturers not all bobbins are the same within machines so make sure the bobbins you get work with your machine specifically. 

If you don’t want to buy bobbins from the manufacturer you can also purchase after market or generic bobbins which are generally cheaper then the official version. If you are uncertain whether or not you want to use these they are relatively cheap and if they claim to work in certain machines they should work just fine. 

It’s important to also note that plastic and metal bobbins can most definitely NOT be swapped they require different tension for your machine and could screw it up. 

Lastly, if you are uncertain what type of bobbins your machine takes locate the model number on your machine. This can be a sticker that may be located on the back, right or bottom of the machine. Generally a machines model is a mix of letters and numbers and once you find that write it down and then it will be easy to research the proper bobbin for your machine.

Are sewing machine pedals universal/interchangable?

As awesome as it would be for sewing machines pedals to be universal they unfortunately aren’t. But wait! There is something close, and some are interchangeable an example is the J00360051 Sewing Machine Foot Pedal Speed Controller & Cord.This foot can work with a multitude of machines that work in the brands of Bernina, Brother, Babylock, Riccar, and Viking. 

BRIGHTLYLIT Foot Pedal and Power Cord for Singer Sewing Machine This pedal works with many different Singer machines.

If you are looking for a missing or replacement pedal for your Brother or Baby Lock Sewing Machine than the HimaPro Foot Control Pedal with Cord for Brother and BabyLock Sewing Machines #FC-322 is a fantastic replacement pedal for you to check out!

When it comes to sewing machine pedals being interchangeable if they are very old or very expensive it's unlikely they will be interchangeable with other machines. It's important to make sure that the pedal fits well with your machine if it doesn't then it could affect the performance of the machine and if the fit isn't snug then it could become a potential fire hazard. 

It is always recommended to contact the original manufacturer of the pedal for your sewing machine first before going to buy a generic foot. This is because you have an infinitesimally higher chance that the foot pedal will work versus an after market product. It is also important to remember to check the sellers return policies before purchasing in case the foot pedal you bought doesn't fit well.

If you want a pedal that does a little more than your traditional pedal then you can check out the Genuine Baby Lock Accessory, Multi Function Foot Control. While you can still perform the normal functions with a pedal, included on this pedal is the heel tap and side pedal and program the pedals through your machine, for these hands free accessories. Works with the Baby Lock models: BLTY, BLCR, BLJY, BLAR, BLCH, BLBA

2 comments
by Marilynn Tabor on December 30, 2021

I don’t do too much sewing garments anymore the instructions are pretty difficult and if you make a mistake it’s hard to fix. I made a few infant items,but prefer to embroidery things. I did a towel recently with an intricate detail and the thread kept breaking. I slowed the speed down on the embroidery and it worked a little better until I finished the item. I still love my machine. Aventura 2

by Lorraine Goldstein on December 23, 2021

I continually learn a new tidbit in your posts. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge.

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