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Forum > Sewing Machines > how much space is needed for free arm sewing? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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how much space is needed for free arm sewing?
trying to design a sewing table.
Artsewer
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Date: 4/14/12 1:22 PM

Im designing a sewing table for my self. I want it to be something like the Unique Sewing Cabinets, but Im using an insert from a custom plexi company. Because I can leave the machines out I don't need a lift and close up cabinet.
I would like to know especially from garment sewers how much space do you think I need to the left of the needle to make room for free arm sewing, (Like armholes, waist bands, pant hems) Thanks in advance.

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Bernina 780, 635E, 1630
Serger 1100DC

SewingLauren
SewingLauren
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Date: 4/14/12 1:37 PM

I'm not sure of the answer to your question; I imagine it wouldn't take very much room for you to be able to make use of your free arm... A few inches, maybe? I did want to say, wow, what a fun design challenge! I think it would be a blast to get to do something like that.

beauturbo
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In reply to Artsewer <<


Date: 4/14/12 2:30 PM

Not much if you are buying something pre-made up, (since they give you no choice at all) but if you are making it yourself, you might as well give yourself a treat and have as much extra room there to support and hold something larger in size. So, I don't know, at least 3 feet maybe, if it would actually fit where you wanted your sewing table to be, and I would think actually the longer the better if you can just do anything you wish.

SunnyAlta
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Date: 4/15/12 9:20 AM

The narrow desk I usually have my machine on allows 2 ft. to the left & 1 ft. in back. Plenty of room to the side but another ft. behind would really help at times.

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 4/15/12 11:02 AM

I have approx 3 feet to the left and across the entire back of the machine. Works for me.

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Twizard
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Date: 4/15/12 3:10 PM

I have 3 feet also. You need enough room to support the garment or project. I find it tiring to try to support the garment with my hands while trying to manipulate the fabric, and most free-arm sewing is for bias-cuts, so can stretch easily.

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Pfaff 1471, janome 8050, bernina 830 & 580, Pfaff Passport 2.0; sergers singer quantum lock 5, baby lock protege, pfaff 794

Artsewer
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<


Date: 4/15/12 3:17 PM

Ok then I see you all are suggesting three feet to the left of the needle and up to three fee in the back. So a 42 deep and front to back table and about 60 inches wide is ideal. I dont know if I have room enough for two machines as i would like to have both set up.
Please tell me, what you use for your sewing tables?

------
Bernina 780, 635E, 1630
Serger 1100DC

Maia B
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Date: 4/15/12 4:00 PM

My 820 is lowered so that the machine bed is level with the cabinet top. I don't raise and lower it, just keep it sunk. I only have a few inches to the left of the machine, but it's plenty to slide the extension table off and use the free arm for pants hemming, etc. ETA: There is actually less than 2" to the left of the machine, down in the "well". Surprising, b/c there's plenty of room to slide a pant leg etc around. There's 24" to the right of the machine, though I think I could do with 12". About 36" to the left. The cabinet is 20" deep, but I almost always have the 19" backflap up.
-- Edited on 4/15/12 8:16 PM --

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🌸 Plenty of machines, mostly Berninas 🌸

Twizard
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Date: 4/15/12 8:09 PM

My Bernina SM and Pfaff serger are on a cabinet that came with the Bernina. My Janome SM and Babylock serger are on folding conference table (I know, not the best), and my Singer Serger and Pfaff SM are on my dining table. I use metal shelves from Lowes, and see through organizers to keep all the paraphanilia together.

If you can spare the space, and don't have to put the table against the wall, then two machines can share the same three feet between them and behind them on the same table.

Would you consider posting a pic when you get the cabinet finished?
-- Edited on 4/15/12 8:11 PM --

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Pfaff 1471, janome 8050, bernina 830 & 580, Pfaff Passport 2.0; sergers singer quantum lock 5, baby lock protege, pfaff 794

Barbara Ogden
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Date: 4/16/12 1:06 PM

That depends on the quilt sizes you are considering quilting. I have mine in a bedroom measuring 10' by 10', but I only do crib sized quilts and custom quilted wall hangings. If you get one that will let you do king-sized quilts, I would say your room should be at least 14 feet wide. One more thing, do not skimp on price as the long rods on cheaper models will sink in the middle. I hope this will help you a bit.

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