Last Updated on September 28, 2021

Do you find yourself struggling to sew the sleeves and pant legs of your clothing? If so, a free-arm sewing machine can be the perfect solution for your sewing needs.

Some sewers might overlook the usage of a free arm sewing machine. But to narrow down your search for the perfect machine, it is important to understand what these sewing machines are and how they can help you in your daily sewing routine.

On top of this, many other aspects come with owning a free arm sewing machine. Let us help take the confusion out of owning a free arm sewing machine. And understand what they can offer you.



What is a Free-Arm Sewing Machine?


A free arm is simply the lower half of the typical  sewing machine design, which allows you to place your fabric at any angle. It’s usually located underneath the needle plate of a standard sewing machine.

For some projects, it’s simply more convenient for being able to rotate the fabric 360 degrees around. Your garment will lay flat on the bed of your machine horizontally instead of hunching over awkwardly trying to reach a hemline or some other difficult angle.


free-arm sewing machine


When Should You Use It?


As mentioned above, the free arm sewing machine is best used for hemming and other cylindrical projects. Sometimes they can also be used to sew circular motifs on children’s clothing or other garments where you want the stitching to be even and decorative.

They require a bit of coordination and excellent sewing skills (or at least ones you don’t mind ruining your garment) since you’re somewhat restricted by space when working with one.

It is important not to get too comfortable thinking that these machines will do all of the work for yoU because they won’t – any more than your hand would if it were holding a needle instead of a machine.


What are the Benefits?


When you’re not taking advantage of all the features available on a more complex machine, it can be easy to forget that your free arm sewing machine is actually pretty powerful.

These machines are certainly not suitable for every kind of project out there, but they tend to excel in at least one area: quilting.

With this feature, it becomes incredibly simple to maneuver around tight corners and curves, allowing you to have greater control over the whole process.

Of course, this is not the only benefit that comes with owning one of these machines; there are several others worth knowing about as well.


1. Easy to Maintain


Having been designed with convenience in mind, these machines are straightforward to maintain.

You don’t need a degree in engineering to figure out how to maintain one, and also to fix them if they break. As such, you won’t need to invest in costly repair bills.


2. Higher Quality Workmanship


Since they were initially designed for quilting, their quality is superior to that of standard sewing machines.

This means that you can expect better results when you have them to do sturdier or more difficult sewing jobs.


3. Little Need for Extra Features


In comparison to other types of sewing machines, these models are pretty simple.

This is because they don’t come with features like computerization; everything is operated by hand.


4. Easier Threading


Since they are so simple, the threading is much easier.

You will have an easier time getting started because it is as easy as threading a needle.


5. Sturdier Stitches


Since these machines are made for sewing thicker fabrics, they can handle a lot more pressure and strain than other models.

This is because they are built with more substantial parts that can withstand the wear and tear of thicker materials.


6. Highly Portable


If you want to take your machine with you, the free arm sewing machine is usually very easy to carry around because of its lighter weight.

Since it has shorter legs, they’re easier to store away when not in use.


How to Choose a Free-Arm Sewing Machine that Suits Your Needs


There are many different types of sewing machines available. Every kind of machine has its own unique use, and you can find models that are best suited for every type of sewing.

No matter what type of sewing machine you purchase, they all come with a flatbed and free arm. Let’s compare the two types of machines to understand better how they work.

A flatbed sewing machine has a solid flat surface for the fabric in which you can sew any type of item, from clothing to quilts and sewing crafts.

There is no particular need for a free arm on this kind of model, so it doesn’t have one. Many heavy-duty professional-quality models are made with a flatbed design.

On the other hand, a free arm sewing machine has a wide hemmer in which you can slide fabric in easily. It is a significant characteristic that is very helpful for sewing clothing, such as dresses and pants.

Overall whatever you prefer to use, the free arm feature is just another option that may or may not be helpful for your sewing projects. It is always best to choose the machine that feels more comfortable for you.



Where Can You Get One?


If you have a local generic or department store in your area, it stands to reason that they will have an abundance of these machines. Otherwise, online retailers specializing in sewing equipment are your best bet for finding one.

As with most other kinds of machines, you can expect to pay anywhere from $80-$200 based on the brand and model.

There is one crucial thing to keep in mind: while the lower end machines will do the job, you should expect to end up replacing them sooner than models that cost a bit more.


Some Final Words

If you are looking to improve your sewing with an upgrade, this is the upgrade. A free arm sewing machine can make all of the difference in how well you accomplish tasks like hemming and applying zippers.

With these comprehensive guides, you should be able to make the best choice when it comes to your next purchase.

Happy Sewing!


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