Love it, hate it, or something in between? Unabashed love.
It's my new best friend. I learned to sew and quilt on a White 2037, definitely
not a quilter's dream machine, and this Pfaff walked into my life right when I
was really starting to hit the wall with the White.
When did you buy this sewing machine? A couple months ago.
When was it manufactured? I have the warranty certificate that says it was originally purchased on
March 3, 1986
Apparently the machine was a 1987 model, so they must do model years ahead of
time like cars. This wouldn't be my period of choice aesthetically, though I
like the little atom symbols by the model number and the "Made in West Germany" Cold War relic, and
I'm not after her for her looks anyway.
Where did you buy it? At a thrift store in the San Francisco Bay Area. The machine and cabinet were pretty dusty, and it looked like they hadn't been used in a while, though whoever had used it was pretty fastidious about keeping all the pieces together. My mother sewed for years on a Pfaff that's about the same age, and even after upgrading she swears by it as her workhorse machine (that is, until my brother commandeered it). I called her on the spot to check that it was a worthwhile purchase; in hindsight I can't believe I considered turning it down.
How much did you pay for it? For the machine, a great sewing cabinet with an electric lift, 3 manuals, hard carrying case, all the original feet and attachments, and drawers full of thread and miscellaneous notions: $40. A complete steal, even consider the $80 for repairs and $50 for a replacement pedal (which only as I write this do I realize cost more than the machine itself. Sheesh). You'd spend more for the cabinet alone.
How many projects have you done on this machine? Only some preliminary practice
work. I just got it back from the repair shop after a month and a half of
taking it there, explaining what was wrong, getting it back, finding the same
problems, reexplaining.... Initially the needle wouldn't always swing to the
left, stretch stitches fed in reverse, and the fancy satin stitches just made a
straight stitch, but a thorough cleaning and tune up got everything working and
found an "intermittent pedal problem." (Definitely test every kind of
stitch before taking machines home from servicing.) Oil apparently can gum up
machines' innards if they're not used frequently, so I would always factor the
cost of service in when buying a secondhand machine to use and abuse.
Describe the kind of work you've done with it. I'm primarily a quilter, and the machine sews like butter when piecing fabrics together. Seriously, it's delicious, and the machine doesn't seem to mind heavy fabrics either. After hearing horror stories about free-motion quilting (and attempting it on my previous machine), I was shocked at how pleasant it was on this machine.
What do you like and what do you hate about it? LOVE the integrated dual feed, which eliminates the need for a walking foot when doing straight-line quilting or even just piecing. Having a needle-down function is a delight. You can also press a button to halve the top sewing speed, which is great for free-motion quilting, zigzag appliqué, and other detail work. I'm looking forward to trying out the machine basting stitch, which is different from a long straight stitch--you seem to guide the fabric manually and tap the pedal whenever you want to tack. Being able to wind the bobbin from the needle or from a second spool is also great, and when I run a bobbin of thread down, we'll see if the bobbin sensor works. Before I got this machine, I didn't even know there was such a thing! Each foot has a specially formed cubby in the work support/accessory compartment, which avoids the jumbled boxes of feet my other machines have.
There's only one thing I hate: the zigzag only has a few predefined widths, and other stitches have even fewer width options. For most purposes this is fine, but for blindhem appliqué, I'll have to drag myself back to the White.