If you follow me on Twitter (@jolittletime) you'll probably know that I bought a new sewing machine! I inherited some money recently and decided that rather than be sensible and save it, the person who left it to me would much rather I spent it on something I'll love!
I went into my local sewing machine shop (we are lucky enough to have 2), primarily to look at Berninas (cos we all want a Bernina, right?). The extremely helpful and knowledgable sales person talked to me about what I wanted and planned to use it for and recommended a Pfaff if I didn't have my heart set on a Bernina.
She is a Pfaff person and thought the Ambition 1.5 had all the features I was looking for:
- a drop in bobbin I could see (running out of bobbin thread half way down a long and fiddly seam is the worst)
- option to finish with needle up (to avoid the top thread whipping away out of the needle on the next seam) or down for pivoting
- pretty 1 step buttonholes
- good length of warranty
- speed control on the foot pedal (I have a heavy foot on the pedal!)
- good lighting (my dining room doesn't have the best task lighting)
- adjustable presser foot pressure
It has all of these and more! Specs can be found here.
It has 195 stitches - I'm sure I'll never use most of them but N LOVES them!
The drop in bobbin is easy to thread and to see when it is running out, but it also has a "bobbin empty" warning that appears on the touchscreen quite a way before the thread runs out.
As it has a touchscreen, the front is very clean with only essential buttons:
It also has a built in walking foot called IDT (Integrated Dual Feed) which you can pull down from behind the shank and engage with just about any foot or stitch.
Much as I liked it, I decided not to rush into a big purchase. I came home, canvassed options/ experiences on Twitter (thanks to all who shared!), checked out online reviews and booked a trial for the following Saturday. I tried it out and loved it. I also tried the Bernina at the same price point (the 350 I think?) and the one above (the 380 - about £300 more expensive) and to be honest, the stitch quality on the Pfaff was on a par with the more expensive Bernina! I was sold and brought her home that day.
Things I love already:
- she goes through anything - 8 layers of folded thick denim as easily as a single layer of chiffon
- the stitching is gorgeous!
- the bobbin empty warning
- the low noise compared to my Brother
- the speed control - it feels like I have so much more control
- the automative tie off - I had no idea i needed it til I had it but it is so neat compared to my previous reverse stitching!
- those automatic buttonholes - love love love!
Oh and really stupid thing I love:
Bobbin and foot storage! So neat and tidy!
On the suggestion of the lovely Vicki Kate, I have called her Fifi (much to the disappointment of N who wanted to call her Vanilla - who knows the workings of a 5 year old's mind?)
I think the moral of the story is - make use of your local sewing machine shop if you are lucky enough to have one. They can really help. Mine also offers free follow-up sewing lessons if you need them.