I am a complete novice at machine sewing and don't even own a machine. However, I was very tempted this summer by the reasonably priced offers by both IKEA's SY and Lidl's basic Singer .
What put me off making the purchase was wondering how much I would really use it and the possibility of it turning into a dust catching ornament. Added to this is the difficulty of deciding which features are actually worth having....is a drop in bobbin or self threading needle the most convenient, do I need lots of fancy stitches, is a basic or computerised model best for my use or would I be better with a little handheld sewing machine for all that I do? Looking around the internet wasn't hugely helpful as many of the views were quite polarised with little comparative information.
As a family we are sort of genetically predisposed towards Singer Sewing machines. My Mum and Grandfather both worked for Singer's in Clydebank in the bookbinding department which made the manuals, handbooks and other printed materials. We used to have a machine but I think it was thrown out many years ago during a house move and I really wish it hadn't been. It was used for the matchy matchy Mother/Daughter outfit thing that was a craze when I was the toddler half of this duo. My Mum had bought it when she worked there and they were solidly built machines with a good reputation. Sadly the downside was it weighed as much as a baby elephant and I ?think? it was chewing up the fabric. It could have probably been repaired but is long gone now and apparently the new Singer machines at the cheaper end are of nowhere near as good a standard.
With all this in mind I thought the best I could do was signup for a class and learn some machining skills and have a go. I reckoned that would either make it clear what features, if any, I need or get the whole idea out of my system. It took me a while to get a class as the first booked up quickly but by checking back I managed to get a place on a later run.