I am delighted to announce that I am now an ambassador for Pfaff sewing machines! If you’ve been following me for a while, you may know that I’ve had a couple of negative experiences as a sewing machine ambassador. I certainly wasn’t on the lookout for another partnership so I wanted to talk about this in more detail, as I know “gifting” is something of a contentious topic in the sewing community at present.
When my last partnership ended in July and I returned to using my old machine, it became immediately apparent that I needed an upgrade, ASAP. Anything less stable than cotton sent my machine into a chomping frenzy and my sew-jo took a major hit. For the record, I don’t think it’s a “bad machine” or that you need a bells-and-whistles model to produce beautiful garments, but mine had seen a lot of wear and tear and was clunky beyond its years! It had been lugged around on trains and buses, used as both a sewing machine and overlocker, and I didn’t clean it or use branded bobbins, threads or accessories when I first got it. Whoops!
Thankfully, I had a little money set aside as I’d been saving up for an overlocker for a couple of years, and wholesaling my woven labels had brought in some extra cash over the summer. I had been incredibly impressed with Pfaff’s commitment to anti-racism and had no doubt that they were the brand I wanted to support. I spent hours scouring their machine specifications to find a model that had the features I needed (and room to grow!), at a price I could afford. I pre-ordered the Pfaff Ambition 620 in August, with an expected November delivery date. OOF, that was a long three months! I always struggle to spend large amounts on myself - I don’t have a car or holiday outside the UK! - but sewing is such a huge part of my life and my business identity and my boyfriend convinced me that I needed to TREAT MYSELF.
Fast forward to September: Always a quiet month sales-wise, but understandably, this year was particularly tough. Rather than get hung up on my dwindling order numbers, I threw myself whole-heartedly into The New Craft House’s #SewYourselfSustainable challenge. I’m notoriously terrible at keeping up with Instagram challenges and usually give up after the first week, but this was a welcome distraction! I also really enjoyed experimenting with the new Instagram Reels function, and flexing my creative muscles in a different way. It was only halfway through when Harriet told me she thought I was in with a good chance of winning, that I discovered there was actually a prize! Of course, I was under no illusion that I would actually win. I may have won a few random prize draws in my time, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually won anything on merit alone. Like, ever.
Only, I DID win. I still can’t quite believe it! The prize was a Pfaff Hobbylock 2.0 and I was so unbelievably excited! Laura from Pfaff called me to arrange delivery, but had some even more exciting news: I was on Pfaff’s list of potential new ambassadors for 2021, and rather than send my Hobbylock now and offer me a loaned upgrade in 2021, they wondered if I’d like to come aboard now, and upgrade my prize to the Admire Air 5000! Erm, YES PLEASE!
Of course, as exciting an opportunity as this was, this year has made me realise the importance of working with brands who share my values. Slim white women are not exactly an underrepresented group, and I didn’t want to take this position away from someone who had the potential to make other sewists feel seen and appreciated. Laura at Pfaff assured me that Pfaff’s commitment to inclusivity didn’t stop at colour and race, and they were scrutinising themselves across the board and will be continuing the good work they’ve started with 2021’s intake of ambassadors, and in all areas of their business.
I haven’t had an opportunity to have a proper play with my Ambition 620 yet, but I’ve made a couple of garments on my Admire Air 5000 and I love it. I feel so incredibly privileged that my first overlocker is so high tech and even a technophobe like me had it up and running and sewing a garment within an hour of opening the box!
This garment, to be precise: the Megan Nielsen Jarrah sweater, fabric provided free of charge by By Graziela Fabrics
I can’t wait to get properly stuck in and put my two new Pfaff machines through their paces. I’ll be sharing more on here, and on Instagram.
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