The Sewing Place

Machine Talk => Sewing Machines => Topic started by: Bodgeitandscarper on October 21, 2017, 13:43:57 PM

Title: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: Bodgeitandscarper on October 21, 2017, 13:43:57 PM
I've had nothing but trouble with my Pfaff Expression 4.2 this morning  :angry:
The automatic thread cutter was not working every time, and seemed to be pulling the material too, so I thought it may be time for a clean out under the needle plate.  I was right  :|  However it didn't make much difference.  I then realised that the bobbin was kind of sticking, but put that down to it being nearly empty, and that's better now I've wound a full one - it could of course be the cheap thread too, but then I usually use cheap thread!  Then the needle got stuck in the material (ok, it was, errr, 6(?) layers of babycord, double folded narrow hem at a corner = 6 I think), and the electronic wizardry kept cutting the motor out, then I kept pressing the button to get the needle up and it wouldn't, kept cutting out.  My brain then woke up again and I turned the hand wheel backwards  :|  Next, I repeated this 6 layers trick at the other end and snapped the needle.  Why was I surprised??  I had already done this collar on a denim type material and it had been ok.
Getting annoyed with it now, so have walked away for a few minutes.  Oh, and this is the top where I'd cut two right backs and had to order more material, it just seems destined not to be made  :S
I love all the fancy gizmos of this machine, like the buttons for the presser foot or needle down, and of course the automatic thread cutter, and the super buttonholes, but I did swap back to my Elna the other day and it just stitches so much better and seems much smoother.
Ok, rant over, back to it  :)
Title: Re: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: sewmuchmore on October 21, 2017, 19:27:47 PM
I have this machine and love it. It has coped well with sewing through 5 layers of thick wool fabric with no problems.
I agree about the thread cutter though, it is a waste of time and i don't use it.
Title: Re: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: Bodgeitandscarper on October 21, 2017, 19:47:21 PM
Reassuring to hear you like yours  :)  I found out you can buy a new blade thing for the thread cutter, as it's one of the things I really like.  After I put a jeans needle in this afternoon, it was much better!
Title: Re: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: Vegegrow on October 21, 2017, 19:55:59 PM
I bought mine last year and don't use the thread cutter... it's still in guarantee though perhaps I should chase it up...
Title: Re: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: arrow on October 22, 2017, 12:28:31 PM
I once went from a fancy computerised top model and back to an old Bernina 730, it stitched perfectly and did everything with ease. I was very suprised at the time, and for my purposes I ended up not spending that much on a new machine. Another time I was on a rather nice Janome model, but it would not stitch through a couple of layers with interfacing. An old Singer 99 did that with ease, and I was the only one who considered the old machine worth trying at the time.

Which Elna model do you have? I keep an old cast iron straight stitcher for the heavier jobs, or any job where a flatbed in a table is an advantage. Because of all the fancy functions we like (and rather not pay too much to get) maybe we expect too much of a machine. I have two or three I go between and I know what type of work they do best. I have to admit, I never bothered too much about the autofunctions, but the buttonhole selection is nice on the new machines. It all depends on the challenge. It's  nice to have a back up that does the job like your Elna.
Title: Re: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: Vegegrow on October 22, 2017, 13:08:45 PM
I have a Pfaff Expression 4.2 Arrow.. I'm pleased with it but as mentioned the thread cutter is temperamental.... other side of the table is my Pfaff select which is a great workhorse I bought the 4.2 for the throat space  decorative stitches and the buttonholes which I am pleased with
Title: Re: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: Bodgeitandscarper on October 22, 2017, 13:38:06 PM
I just found a youtube video which shows how to clean around and replace the cutter, dead easy! 
Title: Re: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: arrow on October 22, 2017, 13:51:19 PM
The usual way abut it is to work with the machine we have and find where the problem lies, and actually taking the bother to solve it lol. Othertimes I find that the machine just isn't ideal for some type of jobs, it's too much strain on parts, motor struggles to stitch through what ever needle or foot I'm using. It all ends up a bother which ever way I turn. The Pfaff Expression is not a bad machine even if it's not meant to do flat felled seams on heavier cotton drill. I certainly wouldn't regret it for a half bad autocutter  :P
Title: Re: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: sewingj on October 22, 2017, 18:47:24 PM
Reading all of this is really putting me off buying a more sophisticated machine - there seems to be an awful lot that can go wrong with them!  (and I suspect that putting them right is not a DIY job)
Title: Re: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: Marniesews on October 23, 2017, 01:17:57 AM
It's interesting reading this as I had similar reservations but as time's passed I've come to like all my machines. I bought a Pfaff Performance 5 when I retired in 2014 and was in awe of what it could do (it was my first computerised machine). A couple of years later I got an old Bernina 1020 simply because I'd always wanted that brand but always baulked at the price of a new one. I only expected to be using it for odd jobs, especially anything heavyweight but instead I rediscovered my love for mechanicals & stopped using the Pfaff 😱 except when I needed the IDT.

It left me feeling quite guilty over the money I'd spent but having used it again a couple of months ago I realised it has its own strengths and now I enjoy moving from one to the other for different projects. This is all just as well as in the interim I seem to have bought a couple of Singer 201s and a Bernina 1130 (an early computerised model).  :|

And the moral is? Perhaps I'm not a good person to talk to if you don't want a growing family of machines.   ;)
Title: Re: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: Morgan on October 23, 2017, 10:03:52 AM

. . . in the interim I seem to have bought . . . a Bernina 1130 (an early computerised model).  . . .
The Bernina 1130 -  a terrific machine isn't it?  A friend has one that she uses for class and it's great.  (There's a queue of wannits should she ever decide to part with it.)
I love that the stitch length and width can be set so quickly by turning the dials which makes sewing with different size stitch lengths on darts or on corners so much easier.  It's so much quicker and more straight forward than on many modern computerised machines where you select the function then the + or _ and have to wait for it to reach the number you want.
It also makes really nice corded buttonholes.  Can't remember whether it uses the 3A or 3B foot.  You are very fortunate to have an 1130 Marniesews, enjoy, enjoy.


Quote
I've had nothing but trouble with my Pfaff Expression 4.2 this morning . . . I love all the fancy gizmos of this machine, like the buttons for the presser foot or needle down, and of course the automatic thread cutter, and the super buttonholes, but I did swap back to my Elna the other day and it just stitches so much better and seems much smoother.


Hope everything has settled down and you are friends again.


There's something about how machines suit some and not others.  They have to feel right under the fingers whether they're mechanicals/electrical or computerised, TOL modern or vintage etc.
The lady I mentioned above with the 1130 didn't gel with her Pfaff Expression at all but sold it to another friend who adores it and bought a used Janome 11000SE  which she loves using.  (The  1130 is for class and her 11000SE stays home.)  Everyone is happy with what suits and no buyer remorse.
I've found that with computerised Pfaff machines people either love them or they don't and there are no half measures.
Title: Re: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: Bodgeitandscarper on October 23, 2017, 10:52:39 AM
My Elna 3003 just sews so smoothly, whereas the Pfaff just doesn't purr the same!  I think the odd "rough" finish of the casing of the Pfaff is off-putting too, it was the main reason I nearly didn't choose it in the shop, but told myself I should get it cos it does do fabulous buttonholes and you can set the length digitally, rather than using the actual button as a measure (which always seems to come out too long).  The main thing I've found is it's not keen on fine fabrics, especially zigzag overlocking of them, it just curls up the edge.  Not a huge problem, as I have an overlocker anyway.
I do love the needle and presser foot up/down controls, and of course the thread cutter, and the switch to press so it goes on it's own without using the foot control.
I suppose, overall, it is actually a good machine, just like all machines, there are one or two little things that others do better.
Title: Re: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: Elnnina on October 23, 2017, 12:23:10 PM
Hi Marnie, I see you have a Bernina 1130, now did you know that there is a wonderful book called Know your Bernina by Jackie  Dodson, do have a look on secondhand book sales, and prices can vary greatly from say £2.00 up to £100.
The book was written especially for the Bernina 1130, and takes you through all the things you can do on this machine and then pushes it beyond so you are able to do things you didn’t know was possible.  It is a wonderful book with mostly black and white drawings and photos, with just a few colour photos.

Someone I know has this machine and a while back was quite upset when it seemed as though this machine had had it, however she took it up to Machine Steve in Kings Lynn and he managed to sort it out for her much to her delight.  So keep on talking nicely to your treasured Berninas they are just so good, beautiful stitching and so quiet compared to many other machines.
Title: Re: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: Kenora on October 23, 2017, 14:31:40 PM
There's something about how machines suit some and not others.  They have to feel right under the fingers whether they're mechanicals/electrical or computerised, TOL modern or vintage etc.

I bought a Janome Atelier 7 because on paper it had everything I could ever want, and I have other Janome's, so I'm used to them. I tried it out in the shop first but it just didn't feel right once sewing on it at home. The 91 needle positions sounded great but, in practice, were annoying when you wanted to move the needle regularly.

The dealer was great - said i could exchange it for anything else in the shop - so I went back and tried practically every machine in there - except the Berninas. I didn't like the styling of them.  :S But I just couldn't find a machine that felt right. I was despairing when eventually the (really patient :angel:) dealer suggested I try the Bernina 570qe. Guess what - I loved it <3 - despite the styling. So now I'm happily sewing on it, and although it's computerised, the dials make changing settings so easy.
Title: Re: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: arrow on October 23, 2017, 14:52:15 PM
If you can afford to spend money and try different stuff it's easier. Having around £1000 made it more liminting than I liked. I could not get the machine I wanted, and I came to the conclution a good basic machine and an overlocker should cover most types of challenges. I still think much the same, two sewing machines a sturdy one and a slightly fancier one will get anyone far. You did right Kenora, it's worth spending a bit more on a machine you want and know you will like. Those of us who spend time almost every day on the sewing machine make it more of a priority, a brand new machine is always alluring.
Title: Re: Beginning to regret buying this machine - possibly...
Post by: Marniesews on October 23, 2017, 16:25:59 PM
The Bernina 1130 -  ... It's so much quicker and more straight forward than on many modern computerised machines where you select the function then the + or _ and have to wait for it to reach the number you want.
You're spot on with that, Morgan. My lovely old Viking (TOL in the late 70s) was sadly on its last legs when I got the Pfaff so it was really when I got the 1020 that I realised how much more I liked the feel of the mechanicals, in particular the sense of being in control rather than being a computer operator. So it may sound strange that I then wanted a computerised 1130 but, being an early model with lots of dials and quick button selection rather than touch screen, it still feels like a mechanical just with some short cuts. Now I just need to source a knee lift at a realistic price - the last one I saw was around £80! Everything works fine but it's not as silky as my 1020 so, having cleaned and oiled it myself but not taken it apart, I think it might be worth a service by Mr Theobald.

Nevertheless I will no longer even contemplate selling my Pfaff P5 as it can do things the others can't. It's got presser foot pressure for a start off, such finely controllable speed for really tricky stuff, it's got that wonderful IDT which is better than a walking foot imo and an amazing array of stitches to name a few.

Many thanks for the book tip, Elnnina. There are 2 copies under £5 on ebay so I'll definitely get one of those.  :)