PFAFF Sewing Machine Shopping Guide
You’re making a list… you’re checking it twice. The holidays are coming up and a new sewing machine may be on your list. Or you may have pulled your old sewing machine out during the pandemic and are looking to upgrade. If you’re in the market for a new sewing, overlock or coverstitch machine but have no idea what model or what the price points are – this post is for you. Madalynne Studios is stocked with a range of PFAFF® sewing, overlock and coverstitch models and offers an opportunity to test out machines on actual garments instead of swatches at a dealer. Interested in purchasing one? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – Madalynne partners with a local sewing machine dealer, Stony Brook, so that you can get your own PFAFF® machine!
When purchasing any brand of sewing machine, I believe it’s important to find a reliable dealer and/or purchase a machine with a warranty. They’ll give you more personalized service than Amazon, and are specialists that can help you with any issues. You are also supporting a local business. If you don’t have a dealer near you, my suggestion is to find the closest dealer that offer online technical support and services.
Before I get to models, first let me tell you the two biggest reasons I choose PFAFF® over other brands:
- IDT: I can’t write a post about PFAFF® and NOT mention their IDT system. IDT, say what? It stands for Integrated Dual Feed System. Basically, it’s a built in walking foot that gives controlled, no-slip sewing. It helps fabric feed evenly from the top and the bottom so that pieces match up, don’t stretch out, and line up perfectly… yippee! For sewing lingerie, this is important. Two words: game changer.
- SOUND: Since it’s usually the first comment someone makes after sewing on a PFAFF®. “It’s so quiet and smooth!” – I estimate that statement comes out of 90% of people mouths and I back it up 100%. It’s not a loud machine and it won’t shake and dance around your sewing table if you start to sew fast.
This is the machine I first suggest when a student is interested in a new sewing machine. It’s a solid, reliable and affordable machine that will handle a variety of sewing projects. Many of the styles hanging on the racks at Madalynne Studios and sold to boutiques were made on a passport™ 3.0.
A question I receive a lot is, “What is the difference between the 2.0 and 3.0?” The 2.0 has a black face, and the 3.0 has a white face. In addition to all of the features of the 2.0, the 3.0 also has 30 extra decorative stitches and thread snips. Personally, I think the 3.0 handles fabric a little better.
The PFAFF® ambition line has three sewing machine models and the ambition™ 610 is the first in the line-up and most affordable. It also a built-in needle threader, 1-step buttonhole, 29 needle positions, start/stop buttons, 8″ to the right of the needle, a speed slider and 110 stitches. I had a customer/student who was going back and forth between the ambition and the passport. She did more garment sewing than lingerie sewing and ended up going with the ambition. Since lingerie generally only uses two or three stitches and requires a small working area, the passport™ 3.0 is a better option. If you’re a garment AND lingerie sewist, than the ambition™ 610 may be a better choice since it has more stitching and a larger working space.
First thing you will notice about the performance icon™ is its size. It is much bigger than the passport™ 3.0 and ambition™ 610. Not just the overall height and width, but also the space under the arm. It has a large working area, which means more room for your project. Also, the lighting underneath the is bright and even – really helpful for seeing stitches in the dark.
Now to features! It has a 10.1in full-color touch screen that works like a smartphone or tablet, and includes a Help Center, User’s Guide and Getting Started option. Believe me, those become useful when if you have any questions. No need to pull out a user manual. The Help Center features more than 50 animated or illustrated interactive on- screen, step-by-step guides for reference.
Automatic needle threading & bobbin winding, buttonholes with Sensormatic foot, custom sequence stitching and much more.
Released in Fall 2018, PFAFF® creative icon™ is the brand’s top of the line, most advanced machine that combines the best features for sewing, quilting, and embroidery. Before sewing on the creative icon™, I was all about simplicity when it came to machines. Don’t buy a machine with 300 stitches if you’re not going to use the majority of them. The passport 2.0™ was my go-to, every day machine that I used 99% of the time. It’s been more than a year, and all those additional features that I didn’t think I would need or want have improved my sewing lingerie. Looking at the machine, you probably think it took me this long to figure out all those features, but just like every other one of PFAFF® machines, it’s extremely easy and intuitive to figure out.
Read Sewing Lingerie on the PFAFF® creative icon™
Read Unboxing PFAFF® creative icon™ Sewing And Embroidery Machine
Read PFAFF® creative icon™ Embroidery 101
Read Embroidered Lingerie Video Tutorial: 2 Stabilization Methods
When it comes to serging and overlocking, air threading is like IDT – a game changer. Many sewist’s take look at the thread guides on a serger and think, “I’ll bind my seam allowances for the rest of my sewing life” The admire™ air 5000 is a one-touch air threading overlock machine that threads itself. Yes, you read that correctly. It threads itself! Watch the video that is linked below. It also has a built in needle threader for both the right and left needles, differential feed for even seams and no stretching or puckering on seams. The differential feed can be used for automatic gathering as well.
The coverlock™ 4.0 is the top machine in PFAFF® overlock line. It offers 5, 4, 3, 2 thread sewing and has an LCD touch screen that unlike some others, is really easy to use. All you have to do is select a stitch and all the important information like optimal thread tension, stitch length and differential feed are automatically set and displayed on the screen. I have found this very helpful – I don’t have to refer to the manual. Something really neat about the coverlock™ 4.0 is that is automatically sets tension based on the stitch. There’s also an Info System and Recommendations options which pop up to give more information about each stitch. It’s an all in one/combo machine (as opposed to a standalone), so it has an overlock and a cover stitch options. Overall, it’s a great machine. If you’re looking for a coverstitch + overlock machine that has everything, literally everything, this is it. I’m still learning new features and applications, but have been very impressed and happy with the way it elevates my lingerie sewing.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED!
Before posting this, I asked my followers on Instagram if they had any questions regarding PFAFF® machines, which I answer in the video.
What dealers carry the machines you recommend?
Will there be any Black Friday deals for passport 3.0?
Best machine for garment and bra makingDo embroidery machines come with dual feed?