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Forum > Sewing Machines > Beginner: Considering Pfaff Ambition 1.0 or Expression 4.2 ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Beginner: Considering Pfaff Ambition 1.0 or Expression 4.2
Selecting a Sewing Machine
hummingmama
hummingmama
Beginner
Member since 7/16/13
Posts: 14
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Date: 7/18/13 12:15 PM

Hi All,

I just joined and I'm excited to be a part of this extensive, knowledgeable community! I'm a beginner seamstress (sewist?) and am looking to purchase my first machine. I took classes at a Bernina dealer but their 350 is a 3/4 size machine and I found it frustrating when making even a baby quilt; they're selling a classroom used 350 for $1,400 USD.

Another dealer in town (with a great, longstanding reputation) sells everything else but Bernina and they have directed me to the Pfaff Ambition 1.0 and Expression 4.2. I'm interested in making quilts, sewing clothes and other things for my toddler, and home decor. I got accustomed to the knee lift with Bernina's 350 but the Ambition 1.0 lacks this. The Expression 4.2 has one but its superfluous because of the hands-free system.

They are on serious discount right now:
Ambition 1.0 [$700, includes extension table and 3-yr repair program; plus $100 in presser feet, single stitch plate, etc.)

Expression 4.2 [$1,819, includes extension table, quilter's toolbox, and 3-yr repair program]

Is the Expression worth all the bells and whistles or would I be fine with the Ambition 1.0? At this store I could sell my machine back to them within a year (if I wanted to upgrade) and it would only cost me 10% of what I paid on the machine, which is pretty nice.

Most of my friends only spent $200-400 on their machines so, particularly as a beginner I feel like this is a lot to spend on a machine. But I neither want to buy used or from a Big Box store because I'm a beginner and don't feel confident to make that purchase. I would rather go through my local dealer and have the technical/lesson support. I also don't have a mom, aunt, friend, to guide me through this process.

I read the reviews on this site for the Ambition 1.0 and overall they are strong reviews. I couldn't find any for the Expression 4.2 but I think its relatively new. I know that the 4.0 had a lot of problems but I'm told by this dealer that those problems have since been resolved.

I would greatly appreciate any input you have! Thanks all!

quiltingwolf
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quiltingwolf  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Member since 12/15/02
Posts: 6645
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In reply to hummingmama <<


Date: 7/18/13 12:29 PM

You have a wide price range there. Normally we would suggest fix your budget then look at machines within your budget. Being a beginner sewer and if you aren't sure this hobby is going to stick I would buy the lower end machine since you have the chance to upgrade. However if you know this if for you I would get the better machine. You will grow into it. There machines for every price range.

------
quiltingwolf.blogspot.com

hummingmama
hummingmama
Beginner
Member since 7/16/13
Posts: 14
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In reply to quiltingwolf <<


Date: 7/18/13 12:39 PM

The store is offering 0% financing right now so I'd probably go that route--I wouldn't have to pay the full cost all at once. I'm trying to view it as an investment. Either is a lot of money to me but since I'm new I'm not sure how to select the machine and how much I should be spending on it.

karen149
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karen149  Friend of PR
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 3/4/05
Posts: 3128
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Date: 7/18/13 12:42 PM

Hello and welcome!

It's true that we can be a unique group. Most people do not understand the value of a quality sewing machine and hence, cannot understand the prices on a good investment for a hobby(or even business) that you enjoy doing. While it's perfectly fine to start out and even continue sewing on a $200-$400 machine, some people simply love the simplicity of these machines or it's what fits their budget while still giving enjoyment. Eventually, you start looking and seeing the differences of what you can get for investing a little...or a lot more.

Get the best machine you can afford. The Ambition has many happy users. The 4.2 is your step into the high-end. Personally, I love the auto raise and lower on the presser foot. I have it on my Viking 875Q, which is Viking's equivalent of the 4.2. Pfaff and Viking(and Singer) are under the same company ownership so some features cross the lines. The Viking equivalent of the Ambition series would be the Opals. Do you have a Joann or Viking dealer near? The Sapphire 875Q is on clearance right now and includes a quilting kit like what is being offered for the 4.2, with the addition of a walking foot attachment.

Having owned a couple of Pfaffs, I would say you are making a good choice in considering them. If I had a dealer close to me, I would probably buy a newer one but I am very happy with the Viking. But who knows, one day I may make a long drive! Every machine has something that attracts a buyer. For me, it was the ergonomics of the machine. Sit down and sew on all the models you can.


-- Edited on 7/18/13 4:33 PM --

hummingmama
hummingmama
Beginner
Member since 7/16/13
Posts: 14
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In reply to karen149 <<


Date: 7/18/13 12:55 PM

Thanks, karen149. Yes, this dealer also sells Vikings but multiple salespersons at this store steered me towards the Pfaff machines because of my quilting interests. I've heard great things about Vikings so I will ask about the Sapphire 875Q--thanks for the head's up.

LynnRowe
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LynnRowe  Friend of PR
Advanced
British Columbia CANADA
Member since 3/9/09
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In reply to hummingmama <<


Date: 7/18/13 1:17 PM

I would go with a Pfaff because of the IDT (built in dual feed) which makes sewing tricky fabrics & knits, and matching stripes/plaids etc, very easy.

------
I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), Rupert (Pfaff 2023-knits expert) Ash (B350SE-Artwork), Kee (B750QEE-Panzy's BFF), Georgie (B560-Kee's baby sister) and the Feather-Flock!

Most of all, I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

PortlandMaine
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PortlandMaine  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Maine USA
Member since 1/29/11
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Date: 7/18/13 1:47 PM

I had an Ambition 1.0 - I loved the machine.

I am a quilter - there were a few things I did not about the machine when approach the machine as a quilter.

I do not like the FMQ foot that Pfaff made for the Ambition line. It in not the same snap on foot the larger machines use. It also has a spring action that is more powerful than other hopping feet. It really holds fabric down creating more drag that I could deal with to quilt entire quilts.

The other problem was the machine seemed slightly under powered at times when I was SS line quilting - the machine would power through the layers but I had to sew at a slower speed to avoid the "thump thump" sound.

That said, I would not want to imply you should buy a expensive machine if you dont want to - I had to look a long time to find a nice used machine. But, if you can get yourself a cheap used machine you might learn what things are important in a larger better equipped machine.

------
Quilting up a storm!

cherylwashere
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cherylwashere  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Connecticut USA
Member since 4/10/04
Posts: 1326
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In reply to hummingmama <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 7/18/13 2:06 PM

Welcome to PR...
I am not familiar with the Ambition 1.0 but did test drive the Expression 4.2 and found it to be a very nice quiet sm. It has IDT...10" harp space and features that will fit your sewing needs. I also found it pretty straight forward and user friendly... It also has the tapering stitch...that is pretty cool...but does not have the maxi or stacking stitches that the sm's above this line offer.

The dealer is offering you a nice package with the 4.2... At my dealer it is 1799. sm only. And...I would also take advantage of the 0% and purchase the most sm you can afford. More sm in my opinion is better than less...then it is always in the back of your mind...I should have...and you will kick yourself later. Of course some of us have been there done that too.

I like Viking sm's and have owned 2...of which I either traded in or sold for lack of IDT...once an IDT fan...always and IDT fan. And there are PR members who love their walking foot... I can't even stand the noise(not sound) they make...

Compare the features of all you are considering...test drive all and then enjoy your new sm...

If you haven't noticed we tend to be enablers...good enablers

------
Bernina 820, Bernina 330, Pfaff Creative 7530, Janome 1600P

karen149
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karen149  Friend of PR
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 3/4/05
Posts: 3128
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Date: 7/18/13 4:49 PM

I'll admit that Pfaff's IDT can spoil you. I don't know if it's me or my Viking's box feed I need to get used to but I can't seem to stitch a straight line. I've had it for only a few months...maybe it needs an adjustment.

hummingmama
hummingmama
Beginner
Member since 7/16/13
Posts: 14
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In reply to LynnRowe <<


Date: 7/18/13 5:19 PM

Thanks, Lynne Rowe. Yes, I've heard the dual feed is awesome!

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