Adding a laser to ANY sewing machine!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Do you remember when I discovered a laser that would work on a sewing machine? (You can read that post here.) Well, I'm happy to be able to share with you that there's a new kid in town!



Meet the ViviLux Laser light!

Many new sewing machines come equipped with a built-in laser. The laser line can be used to sew straight lines to make half-square triangles (HSTs) or stitch-and-flip corners without drawing the lines corner to corner. It can also be used for dot-to-dot straight line quilting. BUT buying a new sewing machine equipped with one of these fancy lasers is expensive!

But now, you can add a fancy schmancy laser to ANY sewing machine!!

Adding a laser to ANY sewing machine

My first laser was one I bought at Harbor Freight that's intended to be used on a circular saw. It did the job, but it took some creative maneuvers to get it to line up properly. (You can purchase that laser at Harbor Freight or on Amazon.)




The ViviLux lasers are made especially for sewists!! Every single drawback of the original laser has been addressed! (You can buy the ViviLux lasers with magnets on Amazon (red or green) and Velcro or magnet (and with international plugs if you're not in the US!) directly on their website. They are even available at many quilt shops!)

ViviLux sewing machine laser


  • It comes with Velcro to attach to your machine. You CAN get a magnetic version, but if your machine is like mine, it's not magnetic! The Velcro holds the laser perfectly in place. (If you're concerned about sticking the Velcro directly onto your machine, you could always put a Command strip on first, then just stick the Velcro to that!)

ViviLux sewing machine laser
  • It's rechargeable! No batteries to replace ever!!

ViviLux sewing machine laser
  • It has a long adjustable "neck" so you can position the laser anywhere you like.

ViviLux sewing machine laser
ViviLux sewing machine laser
  • You can get the laser in red, but there's also a GREEN laser!! The green laser is proven to be gentler on the eyes and is better for people who are light sensitive or have other health concerns with red lasers. (The green one also has a stronger "neck" so it stays positioned better.)

Red and green ViviLux sewing machine lasers
Red and green sewing machine lasers
  • The laser comes with three different tips to change the laser shape: a line, a cross-hair lens, and a dot. The dot can be used to shine exactly where your needle enters the fabric. The cross-hair lens can be used on an embroidery machine for lining up embroidery designs. Of course my favorite is the line!

Line laser on ViviLux sewing machine laser
Cross hair laser on ViviLux sewing machine laser
Pin dot laser on ViviLux sewing machine laser
  • The laser line is thin and bright. The line is definitely thinner than my Harbor Freight laser, meaning more accurate sewing. And the light is bright enough that you can see it on any fabric - even on red or green fabric! I sew with a Daylight Slimline Floor Lamp which is very bright, and you can easily see the laser with this light on! (All the photos for this post were taken with my floor lamp on directly above my sewing machine.)

Sewing machine laser
Sewing machine laser

  • Not in the US? No problem! You can purchase lasers with an A/N plug, an EU plug, or a UK plug for recharging. The plugs even have a USB end, so I think they would charge that way too! (If Amazon doesn't show this option, you can order them directly from the ViviLux website here.)

I've had the red laser for several months now and have been using it lots! I got to meet Dave (the man behind the lasers!) at Quilt Market earlier this year, and I got a green laser (my favorite!). I've been waiting to share these with you though because Dave issued a recall on the last batch of lasers. The laser light was extremely dim, and you could barely see it. But they're restocked and just as they should be now!



Note: As with any laser, do not look into the laser itself directly. If you have small children, make sure they can not get hold of it. It is perfectly safe to view the light that hits the sewing machine surface.

Want to see how it works?

First, attach the laser with the Velcro strip provided. You can mount the laser anywhere on your machine that won't interfere with the thread path. I put mine on the front of my machine to the right of my tension knobs. It would also work to mount on the left side, on the top of the machine, or even inside the throat space!

Sewing machine laser

Position the laser for the task. The bendable neck/arm/wand/thingamajig makes this super easy! Bend it in a way to avoid the thread path and any moving parts on your sewing machine. You can unscrew the tip of the laser just a bit to fine tune the angle of the laser if needed too.


ViviLux sewing machine laser


To sew stitch and flip corners, line the laser up with the needle. Then as the machine feeds the fabric, keep the corner of the square in line with the laser line the entire time.

Using a sewing machine laser to sew stitch and flip corners
Using a sewing machine laser to sew stitch and flip corners
Using a sewing machine laser to sew stitch and flip corners

To sew half-square triangles (two at a time), line the laser up with the edge of your 1/4" presser foot. Keep the corner of the square in line with the laser line the entire time the machine feeds the fabric. Then flip the square around, line the corners up with the laser line, and feed it through again.

Using a sewing machine laser to sew half square triangles
Using a sewing machine laser to sew half square triangles
Using a sewing machine laser to sew half square triangles
Using a sewing machine laser to sew half square triangles
Using a sewing machine laser to sew half square triangles

It saves SO much time not having to draw the lines on the squares!! And it's much more accurate than eyeballing a straight line!

I'm always on the hunt for ways to save time when sewing! This is by far my most favorite time-saving notion I own!

Let me know if you try one!

Red laser (with Velcro on Amazon OR with magnet on Amazon and with Velcro on the ViviLux website - use code FREEVLSHIP for free US shipping!)

Green laser (with magnet on Amazon and with Velcro on the ViviLux website - use code FREEVLSHIP for free US shipping!)

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Adding a laser to ANY sewing machine




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14 comments:

  1. Wow...that's amazing. Thanks for the review.

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  2. Do you know if this laser would help with following a pattern for free motion quilting.

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  3. Wow -- which brands of sewing machines have built-in lasers these days?! I thought that was only a longarm machine thing, for following pantograph designs! You learn something every day!

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  4. That's very clever! Thank you for sharing, and thank you for linking up to the Peacock Party.

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  5. I just bought one of these at a quilt show a couple of weeks ago! 🙂

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  6. This looks very cool and I appreciate your informative post - thank you!

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  7. Great! I used the old version and didn't have much luck with it. This one seems better and Dave seems responsive - so that is promising! I love not marking and won't go back so it will either be a cling vinyl sheet or a laser!

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  8. This is now at the top of my wish list!!!!! I used your tutorial to attach the same Harbor Freight to my machine but I kept having problems with the battery running out and it's hard to get replacements. This seems amazing! It's a steep enough price tag that it will have to wait until gift-giving season, I think. Do I understand correctly that you like the green better than the red?

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  9. I love the idea of this, but for the $79 price tag for the green laser, I guess I will just stick with Harbor Freight.

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    Replies
    1. I was definitely reluctant for that reason too! After trying it though, it is worth it! It's so much easier to align and has a much crisper laser line. It's a great item to put on a holiday wish list!

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    2. Yes!! Amazon prices do fluctuate often, so grab it when you see the lower price!

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  10. thanks so much for sharing l will look into this further

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