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Curious about free arms
When do you find yourself using them?
SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/26/14 7:20 PM

I am curious as to how beneficial you think a free arm is in a sm or serger and when or how often you use it.

I am sure I am in the minority but truthfully have not tried it more than 3 times since getting a modern machine in 2004.
Growing up on a 301 in a cabinet, them a FW, then a Kenmore in a cabinet, I sewed for myself, doll clothes, babies and my kids on a flat surface.

When I got a my first modern machine, a Bernina 430, I thought I would be using the free arm for my then 18 mo old grandson. I tried once or twice but preferred using the slide on table which made a flat surface. I got a sewmate table to give me even more flat surface.

Then I got a BL Ellisimo in 2010 and tried with a size 6 mo once. It was bigger even than the Bernina so once again I went back to using a flat surface.

Its ironic that all the combos come with a free arm and that is what most cabinets and sewing tables are cut to fit- the free arm and not the regular machine with slide on table or accessory tray.

So I am a bit curious. Does everyone else use the free arm for sewing in the round? Or just for fitting it in a cabinet or to a sewing table to make a flat surface?

------
sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

frame
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frame
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In reply to SandiMacD <<
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Date: 5/26/14 7:39 PM

I have one sewing machine with a free arm and honestly have never used it. I also have a 2 sewing machines and 2 sergers without a free arm and don't miss it. Like you, I have sewn children's clothing and doll clothes, etc. without the free arm. None of my machines are in a cabinet - all free standing in cases. I think if you manipulate the fabric properly, you can easily sew without a free arm. At least, I do.

------
"framed" was taken
"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant." - Horton(Dr. Seuss)

lgrande
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Date: 5/26/14 7:39 PM

I think that many of us Have thought we had to have a free arm (me included).
In fact, I never use my free-arm.
Unless one is making doll clothes or tiny baby clothe, I see no need.

------
Linda

Bernina 830LE - Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000 - Bernina B530 - Janome 6600P - Pfaff 1209 - Babylock Evolution - Janome 644 - Babylock Sashiko2 - Babylock BLCS-2

Kanjelab
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Date: 5/26/14 7:43 PM

I used to use the free arm on my machine when I made clothes for my daughter--it was nice for small arm wholes and things like that. I also used it when sewing on casings for small gift pouches for my nieces wedding shower and also for sewing the cuffs on small Christmas stockings for our troops.
I can't think of anything else. They do come in handy now and then.

sew2006
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sew2006
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Date: 5/26/14 8:23 PM

My sergers don't have a free arm so when I'm sewing a garment and go back/forth between the sewing machine and serger it's easier to go with a flat construction method that works for both. I do use the free arm when blind hemming pant hems, easier to avoid catching a layer. I sew jean hems on my flat bed Brother machine because it's stronger and don't miss the free arm. My 1 cover stitch machine has a free arm and that did come in handy for leg openings.

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Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

SheBear0320
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Date: 5/26/14 8:27 PM

Never use the free arm on my sergers or my coverstitch machine.

Use the free arm on both of my sewing machines regularly -- mostly when working on the athletic wear for the business and kids clothes for the grandkids.

A free arm on a serger or coverstitch is not a selling point for me -- it just happens that the machines I chose for other features came with the free arm feature. On the other hand -- a free arm on the sewing machine is a necessity for me.

------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
53.875 yards sewn (as of 07/28/14)
79.875 yards purchased (as of 07/28/14)

Patti B
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Date: 5/26/14 8:36 PM

I'm in the minority -- I use my sewing machine's free arm all the time. Most often I use it on legs or sleeves. I like it! But, as usual, everyone has different preferences.

------
Patti

R-r-r-ripping my way to fitting success

Nikki
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Date: 5/26/14 9:36 PM

I lost the extension piece on my machine a decade ago, and have been using it with just the very narrow free arm ever since (Viking 6440). I use the free arm all the time, and get annoyed when I sometimes use a machine that is inset in a table or such.

------
mmmmm woooool

MartiP
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Date: 5/26/14 9:50 PM

I rarely use a free arm. My Bernina 1230 has a nice extension table that I use almost exclusively.
I have never had a serger with free arm, and have serged even tiny ribbed cuffs simply by turning the sleeve or leg inside out.

------
MartiP

Ruckertt's Law; There is nothing so small that it can't be blown out of proportion.

Bernina 1230 Bernette 007D
Brother CS6000i Brother 2340 CV
New Home L372
Singer 221K (off white)
U.S Blindstitch, Model SL 718/2D
Simplicity SE2
Brother 700II

michellep74
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Date: 5/26/14 10:01 PM

I use my free arm all the time, but I do have a toddler daughter that I sew for frequently.

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--Michelle

***
Blog: http://happilycaffeinated.blogspot.com/

2014 Fabric IN: 153.13 yards
2014 Fabric OUT: 88 yards
2014 Fabric Sewn: 38 yards
2014 Fabric Donated: 50 yards
pre-2014 Stash patterns used in 2014: 7

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