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Pfaff:Expression 3.2 (Sewing Machine)
Viewed 1896 time(s)
1 more reviews for this machine
Review rated Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 16 people   
Reviewed by:MysticStitching
photo
About MysticStitching
MN
Member since: 5/27/09
Reviews written: 7
Sewing skills:Advanced
sewing machines reviewed: 7
Bio: more...
Report a problem with this review
Posted on:10/18/13 8:23 PM
Approx price paid:$1500
Had this machine for:3 mos
Recommended? Maybe
Online Merchants:Amazon.com
Pfaff :Expression 3.2 (Sewing Machine) by MysticStitching

Features
  • Computerized
  • Needle Threader
  • Needle Up/Down Setting
  • Embroidery Stitches
  • One step buttonhole
  • Drop-In bobbin
  • Free Arm
  • Adjustable Stitch Length and Width
  • Adjustable Needle Position
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Review:
This is my first Pfaff! I was very excited to buy this machine. I will add some comments comparing to other brands that I have experience with.

On a scale of 1 to 10 I would have to give this machine a 6.

I like the ergonomics and looks of this machine. I happen to like teal. The stitch chart on the lid is a great convenience... easy to see and I don't have to scroll through a bunch of menus to see all of the stitches.

Threading and bobbin winding is easy and very familiar being similar to Husqvarna Vikings which I have had many of..... (Same parent company).

The drop-in bobbin is easy to insert and the bobbin hook area is easy to access and clean. The needle plate is easily removed and pops back into place nicely... no screws to undo. (Also similar to Viking)

Tension is solid and reliable and is manually selected on this machine.

I really like push button function/stitch selection. Some Bernina's and Janome's have this as well, and it lends to a much more solid ergonomic feel. I do not like LCD function selection as much because LCDs are more fragile and are prone to static electricity that will shorten the life of the LCD control panel. Also, actual pushbuttons are more responsive and easier to use then the flush keypads of the Vikings....

This machine has over 200 stitches and a great selection of utility stitches well suited for a garment sewer. The decorative stitches are beautiful.

I purchased the 1/4" and 5/8" IDT feet. I like the matte finish of the feet and inserting the feet feels solid and is easy. More solid than the plastic shanks on the Vikings.

IDT- The on demand dual feed of Pfaffs is really convenient and such a help for sewing difficult fabrics such as chiffon and most knits. This is a great feature that Bernina recently implemented when Pfaff's Patent expired. The IDT feature is a must have for me.....

This machine has LED lighting which is very bright and white.... Much better than bulbs that are somewhat yellow and get really HOT....

I have done quilt piecing using the 1/4" feet and this machine does very well. Even though this is a 9mm machine, I did not have problems sewing slight seams... No noticeable yaw.

The buttonholes this machine does are very nice...

I have also made some curtains and some garments with this machine and the IDT really helps keep the side seams smooth and flat which is crucial when doing Bridal/Evening wear with satins and silks.

Troubleshooting:
OK... Here is the deal breaker, take 3.8 points right off of the top..... This model (Expression 3.2) does NOT have adjustable presser foot pressure!!! :( This is abhorrent to me considering the cheaper Pfaff Ambition line, the Passport, Expression 4.2 and above models ALL have adjustable presser foot Pressure..... PFAFF WHAT ARE YOU THINKING! My luck, I unwittingly picked the ONLY PFAFF without presser foot pressure.... For working with cotton quilting fabric this does not matter but when I tried to sew denim and wool boucle coating, it was a mess, even the IDT could not compensate..the pressure was just too tight on the foot for these heavy thick layers....

Also, This Pfaff really had some trouble with Ponte Roma knits. The IDT did help and was great for z (wobble) stitch seaming... However, when trying to use some of the knit overcasting stitches this machine failed to do these miserably, skipping every other stitch.... trying different feet and sizes and brands of ballpoint/stretch needles made no difference.

Here are a couple of minor things...

the machine is somewhat noisy... Quieter than the Viking and Berninas, much noisier than the Janome's.

Another thing that has proved to be annoying is the thread cutter on the left side... It is almost flush with the frame and very hard to hit. It takes me 2 or 3 tries to get the thread cut.... I just use scissors now.

The accessory tray in the front is not flush with the machine. There is a bit of a ditch between the machine and the accessory tray that tends to flip seams when sewing over them while doing patchwork.. This also makes the bobbin cover difficult to remove unless the accessory tray is pulled off.

Overall there are many things I like about this machine, It would have given this machine a 9 if it had presser foot pressure.....

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15 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
Huntwoman said...
Excellent review, thanks.
10/18/13 9:02 PM
Mufffet said...
Nice review of your machine.
10/18/13 9:16 PM
KPM said...
This is too bad. I'm sure you assumed the presser foot could be adjusted - it's something I wouldn't think to check when test driving. I love teal too - I've admired this model for it.
10/18/13 9:21 PM
Maia B said...
Thanks for this balanced review. That's a lot of $ for a machine without a feature which it apparently needs. I have several machines without adjustable presser foot pressure, but so far, they have performed well on a broad variety of fabrics.
10/18/13 10:06 PM
beth5646 said...
Thanks for the review machine sounds wonderful. Sorry about the missing feature.
10/18/13 11:08 PM
MysticStitching said...
In my quest to find one machine to rule them all, sadly this one fails.... If it only had presser foot pressure!
10/19/13 0:37 AM
sewfrequent said...
Do you think your dealer could would allow to trade up to the 4.2 or maybe lighten the pressure on the machine you have? I know that has been done on some berninas noted for heavy pressure. Its definitely worth looking into. This machine is so wonderful in every other way.
10/19/13 4:02 AM
Julkane said...
Yes I think the 4.2 may have been the machine for you. It has the adjustable pressure foot, actually has the auto lift foot, but still uses the buttons to pick the stitches. I hate to have to scroll through things to get a stitch.
10/19/13 12:03 PM
MysticStitching said...
My dealer would only allow trade up to a creative performance and above.... :(
10/19/13 9:27 PM
lgrande said...
Too bad. I do wish your dealer could be more compromising with you given the situation. I hope you can find some resolution to the problem as I hate to see you struggle with a difficult machine.
10/20/13 8:35 AM
dbsewer said...
MysticStitching, it's unbelievable that your dealer won't let you trade up to the machine you want. That's just bad business, so shame on him/her. I'd take my business elsewhere next time. I've never heard of a dealer refusing to let someone trade up to the next model, especially after just one month. I've also never heard of a machine that wouldn't let you adjust pressure foot pressure, so there's something hinky going on here. The accessory tray should fit snugly. I'd find another dealer and see if you can get satisfaction and better service along with good instruction.
10/20/13 10:01 AM
LynnRowe said...
Many machines from various brands do not have presser foot pressure adjustment; however, I am surprised that the 3.2 doesn't. The tech can adjust the foot pressure for you. All my Pfaffs have/had pressure adjustment, and to date I've never touched it, but would want to be able to. Sorry to hear your dealer won't allow you to trade up below the PCP. On the other hand, the PCP is an AMAZING sewing machine.
10/21/13 12:14 PM
AussiePupOwner said...
I have been considering this machine and test drove one the other day. Thanks for the review!
10/21/13 8:43 PM
dbsewer said...
I've never come across a machine without a pressure foot adjustment, and wouldn't buy one that didn't have it since it's integral to getting a good fabric feed. The dealer I work with gives you six months to trade up, to whatever machine you want, so there's something wrong with a dealer that insists on you trading up to a TOL.
10/22/13 8:29 AM
Vicki2 said...
Mystic Stitching, Hi, I have a new Expression 150 and I had the same trouble that you describe about the accessory tray. I figured that Pfaff would not let this happen to us! So, I fiddled and fiddled and finally was able to get it to seat by pulling it just ever so slightly forward and it drops down ever so slightly and seats itself, and voila, yippe, it's flat.
12/12/13 9:38 PM
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