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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Recommendations for a machine with a free arm ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Recommendations for a machine with a free arm
ElizabethK

ElizabethK
Intermediate
TX
Member since 3/28/08
Posts: 84
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Date: 9/15/12 9:45 PM

Hi!

It's time for a machine upgrade! I'm a relatively experienced seamstress looking to upgrade from a very basic Singer CG500. I do a lot of garment sewing for myself as well as a bit for my children, but no quilting and no embroidery. I'm looking to upgrade to a quality machine with more stitch options, as well as metal feet options (it is hard to find various feet for my Singer), and I really want to consider only machines with a free arm.

I know this is pretty open ended, but are there any suggestions on machines I should consider?

Thank you for your help!
Elizabeth

SewBusy63
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SewBusy63
Intermediate
Member since 12/10/07
Posts: 4385
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In reply to ElizabethK <<


Date: 9/15/12 10:48 PM

What is your budget?

------
~Diana~

♥ Bernina 830E ♥ Bernina 1150MDA serger

✝The Lord is my Light and my Salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1✝

Sewmissy2
Sewmissy2
Intermediate
MO USA
Member since 12/5/10
Posts: 124
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Date: 9/16/12 9:53 AM

Most machines have a free arm nowadays. Try a Baby Lock machine, they sew beautifully over even heavy fabrics. The Grace, Elizabeth, Tempo or Melody are all wonderful and easy to use.

------
Designer 1, bought in 2000
Simplicity 350 serger, bought about 1997
3 Tajima Neo single head embroidery machines
Digitizer by profession
Embroidery software: Tajima DGML by Pulse (commercial) also know Designer's Gallery and Floriani for home use.

Maia B
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Maia B  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
IL USA
Member since 10/27/10
Posts: 4474
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Date: 9/16/12 10:55 AM

(Depending on budget), I highly recommend Berninas. They offer nearly a hundred various feet, which are easily changed with just one hand but very solidly secured. The free arms are quite slender, and the extension tables function as a wide free arm. I also need a free arm for altering ready to wear and mending worn knees areas of pants without ripping open a side seam.

Some brands' free arms are too wide to get a sleeve or a child's pants over.

------
🌸 Plenty of machines, mostly Berninas 🌸

CosmicFabulosity
CosmicFabulosity
Intermediate
VA
Member since 12/15/07
Posts: 145
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Date: 9/16/12 11:25 AM

Like SewMissy said, many machines today will have a free arm, so you have a lot you can choose from.

I'd suggest paying a visit to a local dealer and have a list of the features you know you want, then try out some machines and see which one calls out to you.

Good luck in your search and let us know what you find!

------
www.iamchristianmichael.com
I'm proof that men really will ask for directions :-D
Bernina 240 & 130, Pfaff 1222E & 2020, Singer 503, Janome 3434D, closet way too full of spandex and I think there is a puppy somewhere in this mess.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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OH USA
Member since 12/3/06
Posts: 6846
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Date: 9/16/12 11:25 AM

Aren't extra feet and accessories for Bernina very expensive?

Visit your local sewing machines dealers - as many as you can find.

Tell them what is on your wish list, including any specialty feet or accessories.

Test drive and try those decorative stitching that are the most interesting to you.

Then, you can decide what is best for you.

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

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

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 9/16/12 11:27 AM

Sorry CosmicFab. We seem to be on the same wave length, sun beam...spooky!

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

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

ElizabethK

ElizabethK
Intermediate
TX
Member since 3/28/08
Posts: 84
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Date: 9/16/12 4:48 PM

Thanks so much for all of your responses! I know I have a lot of research to do, but this helps get me pointed in a good direction with some initial brands to explore. My budget is probably between $500 - $700.

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OH USA
Member since 5/28/11
Posts: 2217
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In reply to ElizabethK <<


Date: 9/16/12 10:35 PM

I think Babylocks have several models to choose from.
I would look at the Pfaff Ambition too. I looked at that but ended up with a Janome; I still think about that Ambition every time I sew in a zipper. That IDT is an amazing feature especially suited for garment sewing. It is missing a few features (I don't think it has a thread cutter). I liked it though and it sewed over jean seams like butter. There are several Janomes in that price range too that would be worth looking at. You may need to go to some dealers and try some machines. That is so fun but dangerous too (dangerous to your pocketbook!).

CosmicFabulosity
CosmicFabulosity
Intermediate
VA
Member since 12/15/07
Posts: 145
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<


Date: 9/16/12 11:36 PM

PattiAnnJ, we certainly seem to be! And you're right, I'm finding out really fast that Bernina feet truly are as expensive as everyone says. Then again, I don't have a foot fetish, so it's not such an issue for me for now - I can be happy with the four feet that came in the accessory box.

Now, while I did recommend going through a dealer, I will also admit all of my sewing machines came from Craigslist. If you feel comfortable with that route, there can be some good deals to score. Either way, there are plenty of great machines that can fit in your budget.

------
www.iamchristianmichael.com
I'm proof that men really will ask for directions :-D
Bernina 240 & 130, Pfaff 1222E & 2020, Singer 503, Janome 3434D, closet way too full of spandex and I think there is a puppy somewhere in this mess.

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