In the world of sewing, there are tons of knowledge you need to gain about fabric and techniques. And learning how to use sewing machines fluently is a necessary task thereof. Today, sewing machines come in various types and prices to meet the sewing needs. If you have ever heard of the word “free arm,” you may be concerned with the question “What is a free arm sewing machine?”
So What is a Free-Arm Sewing Machine – The Definition
First, let’s find out the definition of “free arm.” It refers to a specific compartment of a sewing machine that is located beneath the needle. This extended area contains the feed dog, bobbin, and shuttle, allowing easy sewing around and under the needle.
So, a free arm sewing machine is basically a sewing machine equipped with a lifted and extended housing at the bottom where it houses bobbin, feed dog, shuttle, and needle. This feature allows sewing layers of fabric without catching each other.
The free arm feature is integrated into the majority of portable sewing machines. Hence, the free arm machine is relatively the same as the standard portable one speaking of the portability. Yet, there are also some portable machines that do not include free arms. You can tell the difference in the bottom area (below the needle) since that of a portable machine cannot be removed.
Pros and Cons of The Free-Arm Sewing Machine Table
The most outstanding benefit of a free arm sewing machine is the convenience when working with hard-to-sew areas, compared to standard portable sewing machines or a cabinet. Thanks to the extended housed working area, sewers can handle fabric easier, especially for sewing and stitching cylindrically.
For example, sewing curved pieces (collars and cuffs) will be much convenient with easy fabric manipulation. You can still finish this kind of work using a standard sewing machine, but then you need to apply trickier techniques to achieve the expected outcome.
Free arm sewing machines also work wonders for tubular items. For example, trouser legs, shirt sleeves, jacket sleeves, and the pant’s seat are some popular garments made with a free arm machine.
Another benefit of a free arm sewing machine is storing convenience. Its size is relatively space-saving like that of other portable machines, allowing you to position it in a closet or a corner. Yet, don’t forget to put a cover on the machine to prevent dust accumulation and possible damages.
The biggest downfall of a free arm sewing machine is handling long and straight seams due to the limited working space. Hence, it is not recommended for straight stitching job. In order to overcome this drawback, most free arm machines feature an extensible plate for snapping on and off to expand the working area.
So far, you have found out the answer to the question “what is a free arm sewing machine” and some advantages, disadvantages of this tool. With the convenience of the easy fabric manipulation, free arm sewing machine is a go-to choice if you want to tackle curved pieces and tube-like garment parts.