Having started sewing on a very simple Singer machine, I was over the moon when I upgraded to my Pfaff Ambition 630 3.5 years ago. I wrote a comprehensive review of it on my blog after a couple of months of use, but now that it’s been with me for a few years, I would love to share my long term review with you.
Let’s start with the good: Two of the things I love the most about my Pfaff are its versatility, and its intuitive design. It can handle almost everything I throw at it, from slippery lightweight linens to heavyweight denims and wools, and the way you engage with the machine is very easy to grasp. I particularly love that you can save your favourite stitch settings for easy access, how easy it is to load the bobbin, and the great built-in storage it has.
Perhaps the biggest selling point of the machine is Pfaff’s proprietary IDT system, which is a built-in walking foot. It helps feed the fabric more evenly through the needle, and I found it a joy to have when sewing through multiple layers or tricky fabrics.
It also comes with a million different stitch patterns, including a very fun alphabet feature. I’ve only used a few of these specialty stitches since I mostly make quite classic looking garments, but having the option to add some subtle embroidery is lovely for making those special items.
There are, of course, a couple of things I don’t love about this machine, both affecting the accuracy and precision of my sewing. First, the back stitching button has a noticeable lag of about 2 stitches, meaning the machine won’t start sewing in reverse until about 2 stitches after you start holding the button. I got used to the rhythm of the machine pretty quickly, and I don’t really have a serious problem with this lag, but it would certainly be nice not to have it. Secondly, the machine creates a small thread nest at the beginning of each seam – unless you take the time to pull the bobbin thread up and hold on to the two thread tails as you start sewing. I don’t think these issues are deal breakers, but when combined, they do cause a slight disadvantage in terms of precision sewing.
One final complaint I have is that this machine has its limits when it comes to sewing through multiple layers of heavy materials like denim. I have a pretty difficult time when it comes to sewing on belt loops on my jeans, but it can get through with some help from a hump-jumper and taking it very, very slow.
Overall, I think my Pfaff Ambition 630 and I make a great team. Together we built a whole handmade wardrobe for me and my partner, and it’s been really nice to have a reliable machine that can handle the full range of my sewing projects. For my next machine I would love something a bit more heavy duty and precise, but for now – I just love this machine.