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Thread: Pfaff 1222 Vs. a New Machine

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Pfaff 1222 Vs. a New Machine

    Hello all! So, I am a 110% sewing machine rookie and need advice on an important decision:

    I have been DYING to get my own sewing machine, which I plan to use for the millions of projects that I've found on Pinterest; from hemming jeans & fixing clothing to making a T-shirt quilt and everything in between.

    The dilemma: My fabulous Grandmother has very generously offered to give me her Pfaff 1222, which she has had now for FORTY YEARS! I was extremely touched and incredibly stoked to inherit her vintage machine, which I assumed I would turn into a family heirloom.

    She took it to the repair shop to get it all cleaned and "tuned up," which has already cost her $150. The shop then notified her that there were further repairs that need to be done which would cost a minimum of $300, but could possibly go up to $1000 (EEK!) and they won't know until they get in there and start the work.

    My Mother and Grandmother were devastated to tell me over Christmas as they too had been excited to give it to me. They said that, given the expense, they wanted to know if I want to go forward with the repair or, as technology as come so far since then, if I would rather put the money towards a brand new machine which would obviously have more features. (Gma mentioned several times that she wished her machine had a surger, but besides that, it has worked like a charm its entire life...)

    Because my only experience with sewing was to surge a set of curtains, I have no idea which way to go on this. Could you please give me your opinions?

    I am extremely sentimental and would love to have her machine, but is it really the best choice or should we invest in a new one? And which would you recommend if you were to go new? (Again, I want one to do jean-hemming, which I hear is tough on many machines, AND quilting.)

    Help!

    PS. I have a TON of awesome sewing project tutorials/ideas/patterns on Pinterest, so if you'd like to have access to them, just send me a private message with your email address and I'd be more than happy to share!

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Go here http://www.kennsplace.com/pfaff_mail_a_repair.htm I was quoted a minimum of $500 and upwards of that to fix my 1222. I mailed him my machine about 3 months ago and he's still got it as there's a component in the foot control he's having problems with. But, it's being fixed as good as new for $189 plus my cost to ship it to him. I know one lady who told me she was VERY happy with her machine when she got it back. I'm still waiting for mine, but this is something to consider!

    The 1222 is supposedly one of the BEST machines made by Pfaff and because you are sentimental and want to keep it, this may be an option for you. I have to tell you that for $300, you would be hard pressed to buy a decent machine. Especially for doing jeans. The machines at that price point would just not compare to a Pfaff 1222. I would imagine you could have a close to brand new Pfaff 1222 for about $200 and personally, that's the way I'd go.

  3. #3
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Me? I'd take the Pfaff. Not only do you have the sentimental value of G'ma's machine, but you have a better machine that's still going to do everything you want it to.
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sewlmatesister's Avatar
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    That is THE BEST machine ever made in my humble opinion.....mine dies after40 years of constant working at my business and pleasure...It didn't owe me a thing!!! I've had new pfaffs since then, but last year bought a 1222 on ebay! Check e bay...they can go up to $1000.00 and more!! Take it, and have it fixed....best thing you will ever do!

  5. #5
    Member Sew happy's Avatar
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    I have had Pfaff sewing machines for nearly 40 years and I own a Pfaff 1222. Yes, it's a great machine. I hate to say this but I think the sewing repairman could be ripping your family off by possibly charging up to $1,000. He's feeling the waters to see if your Mother and Grandmother will pay that much for a repair. They need to put a limit on what they will spend or he will pad the bill up to near a thousand. He will most likely repair it for 500 or $600 max. regardless of what is wrong with the machine.

    Also, some Pfaff parts are no longer available from Pfaff, though ebay frequently has used parts that are frequently used to replace broken parts. My point is that even though the machine may be repaired today, it can break a plastic cam in the future. YOu would still be able to use the straight stitching but I'm not certain about zig zag. The cams are
    for the other stitches.

    I'm very sentimental about family also, but sewing machines are sentimental because of the person who owned it and not the machine itself. Hope you will not take this the hard way, but I've had experience with the sell and repair aspect of sewing machines and felt I should post this.

  6. #6
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    If the machine has "worked like a charm it's entire life" and only went in for a cleaning and tune up I'm suspicious of the dealer who wants to make extensive repairs. Some parts for older 1222's are not available and if one of THOSE goes after spending the $1000 you will have nothing. Why not just take it and use it as is, since it apparently is working just fine. Possibly you should try another dealer.

  7. #7
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    My DH bought me a Pfaff 1222 from the factory 40 years ago. That machine sewed for 4 kids, tailored fatigues, sewed on patches for the GI's. I dragged her from base to base. She finally broke down, was too expensive to repair. My daughter was using her for straight stitching repairs when her home burned down. I have a Viking that I adore, still miss the Pfaff. I would keep it for sentimental reasons.I would try another dealer. Blessings!
    A goat's best friend!

  8. #8
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    I just feel it would be worth taking the machine to a different repair place. That seems astronomically high to me for a mechanical machine. How trust-worthy is this tech, do we know? I do see 1222's on our local craigs fairly often and if you are able to get this one fixed (reasonably), then it might be wise to keep an eye out for another that you can use for parts. I definitely would prefer the 1222 in working order but I would not sink more than $300 total into the repairs.
    mea

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Weird - I had a call from a lady today looking for a 1222 - she loves the one she has so much she wants another one.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

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    How did it play out?

    Quote Originally Posted by jenibeni View Post
    I am extremely sentimental and would love to have her machine, but is it really the best choice or should we invest in a new one? And which would you recommend if you were to go new?
    How did this ever play out? Somebody has one of these for sale and I was thinking about it. After reading this thread, my thoughts were to suggest taking it to another shop. Nobody should be offended by wanting a second opinion when it comes to $1000 - and if they do, then that isn't somebody you want to do business with. In any case, you wouldn't have to even say that's what you were up to and just say you need to think about it before dropping that many clams. But that is surely all water under the bridge.

    I'm looking to hear what the 'lessons learned' were here - ENQUIRING MINDS WANNA KNOW! Thanks.

  11. #11
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    I don't have a clue how this ended up but I have a 1222 pfaff and it sews like a dream, has the walking foot thinking, brain can't remember what you call it, but that works very well and it is easy to learn how to sew with it.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  12. #12
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    I've gotten to borrow a PFAFF 1229. It has the walking foot too. Not quite the same model but it is a very nice machine.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  13. #13
    Junior Member monopas's Avatar
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    We've got a 1222se. Bought used at a sewing machine repair place about 15 years ago with several feet and all of the original manuals. It hasn't been used much since then, partly because my mom never got the hang of adjusting tension. When a Pfaff shop opened here it got a tune-up, and then was repaired when the power button broke. Luckily, the guy had a donor machine because you can't get a new power switch. Once I started learning about sewing machines, I figured out how to set its tension properly. It does sew like a dream, and with the electronics it has finer control than machines without a brain.

    It is the most modern, and market valuable, machine we've got. Until something breaks. Then it is probably a doorstop. It is also the only free-arm machine in our modest herd.

    I don't use it very often. I'd rather use my 1975 Kenmore in a table, because I like the table and I'm not afraid of breaking the machine.

  14. #14
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    If it cost $1000 I would have to think about it, I might still have done it. A new Bernina 1008 is about that price, and I suppose it's one of the very few equivalent machine in production these days? I don't think the 1008 has any electronic features, the Pfaff 1222 has and was the technical marvel at the time it was introduced. At $300 it's still worth it, but I would initially not expect more than $150 to get a machine fully serviced and fixed. I would ask why they estimate such a high cost, and if it was due to cost of parts and time searching for them I think I would have taken it upon my self to hunt them down. In my experience, parts turn up sooner or later, at very varying prices. I think the 1222 was produced in the late 60s to early 70s, of the first with electronic features. I suspect this is why it can get expensive, new electronic boards and parts can be ridiculoulsly costly, and the main reason why I have shunned away from these models. I can't fix it my self and replacement parts can be hard to find.

  15. #15
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    As a lucky recipient of a '70s model Pfaff 123, I am very pleased with how well it works. As to the projected repair bill for the Pfaff 1222, I am a little skeptical. Is it possible the shop is hoping to entice your grandmother into buying a new machine? It is sad to say, but today's new machines are rarely as reliable as the vintage machines we have all grown to love.
    jlm5419-an Okie back in Oklahoma!
    http://according-to-ginger.blogspot.com/

  16. #16
    Senior Member 4dogs's Avatar
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    I have an "olde" Pfaff that I paid $10.00 for, in a huge nice cabinet.........its one of the best machines I own and I use it a lot..........(*and I have 13 machines)............I would definitely take the old one, and I would take it to another repair man, that one sounds like he is trying to steal from you............even if it does cost a few $$ to fix, it would be worth it, because they made such good machines and it belongs to your family members............if you don't want it, I would love to have it (and so would every one else on here)............
    Judy, retired RN, alias 4 dogs and in the mountains of western North Carolina.

    Someday you will be a memory - try to make it a good one .

  17. #17
    Super Member manicmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewbeadit View Post
    has the walking foot thinking, brain can't remember what you call it
    It's called IDT http://www.pfaff.com/en-AU/About/IDT-System
    Singers: model 12 MOP (1885) Improved Family (1886) 29k58 (1939) 44K11 (1921) 96k41 (1947) 103K (1950) 2 x 201K23 206k11 (1950) 222k (1959) 320k2(1959) 331K4 (1964) 451K145 (1960)
    Pfaff:360 (1959) Necchi Supernova Julia http://tailororfailure.blogspot.com

  18. #18
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    . The problem is that no spare parts are available. Pfaff stopped making the machine in (I think) 1980.
    Spare parts are available some time on EBay. The machine casing is all metal, yet the most vulnerable part is the cam stack made of plastic and is known to crack. . What makes the machine so desired is the IDT . (Dual feed.) There are other makes that have this capability.. I have been hunting for the plastic tray for ages with no success

  19. #19
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    There is nothing in that machine, other than the power board (which is full of replaceable capacitors and resistors), that cannot be replaced with new parts. There are literally hundreds of thousands of this range of machine out there and a thriving market in parts. I just rebuilt one, including replacing the camstack and nylon gears and rebuilding the power board and my total cost for parts was under $150. eBay and places such as sewingpartsonline.com have all the parts but the board. My time invested was less than 5 hours and my 1222E is good as new, so the price quoted is more than suspect.

    This machine is one of my three favorite early modern machines, along with the Bernina Record 830 and Husquvarna Viking 6010. Any of these three are far better machines than new machines costing north of $3k. And even with a broken camstack, straight stitch and zig-zag as well as the IDT (originally called the Pattern Matcher) will continue to work just fine.
    Last edited by Tom W; 08-27-2016 at 09:37 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT BROWER View Post
    I have been hunting for the plastic tray for ages with no success
    Robert,

    If you're talking about the accessory tray that slides under the free-arm, I just bought one on eBay tonight. They are out there, this is the second I've bought in the past 3 months.

    Tom

  21. #21
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    Hello Candace!
    I too have sent in my Pfaff 1222e for repair and Kenn has had it for a VERY long time. (6 months) I cant seem to get a email reply and now his website seems to have expired! Help. Do you have an email or phone # I can contact him with to see if my 1222e is fixed?
    thanks!

  22. #22
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    The talk on the vintage Pfaff Yahoo group is that Ken passed away. He was in and out of the hospital while having my machine and was very ill. I'm sorry to say, but you and a few others have machines that may need quite a bit of effort to get back:< You should join the Yahoo group to find out more info.

  23. #23
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    This is terrible...Thank you for the info.

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