Introduction: Replacing the Presser Foot Lifter on a Pfaff 1200 Sewing Machine

About: Over the hill coffin-dodging retired technical writer.

The reputedly superb German engineers must have been taking a holiday when they designed the Pfaff 1200 series sewing machines. The presser foot lift lever, probably the most-used part of any machine, is plastic.

Plastic, not steel. It will break long before the rest of the machine is worn out. Replacing it is not difficult. PLEASE READ the notes on the pictures.

Step 1: Remove the Broken Lever

First, remove the broken stub of the old lever.

TOOLS: In addition to the tools you need for removing the covers, you need

  • skinny needle-nose pliers
  • slip-joint pliers
  1. Remove the needle and the presser foot.
  2. Follow the steps in my instructable for removing the top and front covers from the machine.
  3. Remove the screw that holds the light in place.
  4. Use tape or something to hold the light fixture out of your way. I used a hair elastic and looped it around the upper tension controls.
  5. Lift the presser foot arm. (read the note on the picture)
  6. Prop the presser foot arm on something that barely fits under it. (sorry, no pictures)
  7. Loosen the set screw that holds the lever in place.
  8. Use the slip-joint pliers and tug the stub of the lift lever out of the back of the machine.
    Yes, the inner part of the lift mechanism will fall out of place. That's OK.
  9. Fish out the part that fell off.

Step 2: Insert the New Lever

You have to do much of this by feel, because there isn't enough room to see what you are doing. For that reason, there are few pictures.

  1. Insert the new lever into the hole, with the long arm of the lever facing away from you. (The last picture shows the correct position)
  2. From the inside, push it back out almost all the way. Leave a tiny bit sticking into the inside of the machine.
  3. Hold the inside half in the needle-nose pliers with the set-screw facing toward you, the hook at the top. (position as shown in the last picture)
  4. Insert this into the machine and fiddle with the position until you feel the hole match with the end of the lever and the stop peg is behind something.
    It may take several attempts.
  5. Push the lever the rest of the way into the machine, into the hole in the inside part.
  6. Make sure the inside part is snug against the side of the machine.
  7. Tighten the set screw.
  8. Move the lever up and down to make sure the parts are moving freely, and that the hook rotates up and doesn't flop around.
  9. Raise the lever and remove the blocking from under the presser foot.
  10. Replace the covers.
  11. Replace the presser foot and needle.