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What is free arm for on a sewing machine?

i just started a sewing machine course and thoroughly enjoying it and my hubby is treating me to a sewing machine today and the 1 im getting has lots of great features on it and 1 is fre arm i know its supposed to be something really good but i really do not know what it is for and how you use it sorry if i sound silly i only been learning for a few weeks thanks for reading

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Dana gave you a good answer, but I'm not convinced of the value of a free arm (though it's a common feature on many machines). Yes, you can put a pants hem over a freearm, but if you learn to stitch in a tube with the "bottom" of the tube under the presser foot and the "top" above and to the left of the presser foot you can hem a tube about 2.5x as long as the presser foot -- about 3" circumference. Most freearms will require at least 8" circumference (and usually about 11+") to go over the free arm. Most of the folks I know have wrist circumference closer to 6-7" than 11. When you pick up your machine ask your dealer (or your teacher) to demonstrate "sewing inside the teacup" -- and if that doesn't make sense, drop me an email and I'll explain in more detail.

    I'm so glad you're enjoying your sewing course! If you're looking for a group to hang around with, you might check out the yahoo group "creative machine" -- about 5000 of us, from newbie to old pro, and guest hosts about once a month -- many of them people pretty famous in the home sewing world. Our last guest hosts were the guys who made the movie, Valentino, the Last Emporor. Previous guests include Claire Shaeffer, David Coffin, Susan Khalje, Kenneth King, Carol Ahles...

    (And while I'm making off the point suggestions, pick up a copy of Carol Ahles' Fine Machine Sewing (most libraries have it or can get it) and read it. Then learn at least machine blindhemming early on in your sewing journey -- it'll save you many, many hours. You might also want to check out Threads magazine and its companion, Sew Stylish. Threads is probably mostly aspirational reading for you right now, but Sew Stylish is geared for beginners. Again, common public library fodder. ( -- take a look at: for instance.)

    If you're in the US, you might also want to look into American Sewing Guild:

    Source(s): 50 years of sewing
  • 7 years ago

    The free arm option sewing machine is a must if you need to sew a on a pant or a sleeve bottom.

    I would not purchase a sewing machine without this feature.

    It makes a huge benefit for easy sewing !

  • 6 years ago

    Best free arm sewing machine:

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    the free arm plate ddrops down on sewing machine so you can sew pant legs, cuffs on sleeves, allows you room to fit smaller things to sew on the machine rather than large material patches together.

  • Alexa
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Visit as many sewing machine dealers as you can and ask for demos and test "drives".

    You are not obligated to purchase from a dealer, but there are many advantages in doing so - support, service and lessons are a few.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Dana is absolutely right! It is wonderful for those sleeves, pant legs, hems, etc. Good luck and have fun!

    Source(s): seamstress 40 + Yrs
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