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  #1  
Old 09/25/08, 09:11 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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sewing machine for a nine year old

so what do i get her? she's hand sewing all kinds of stuff like pillows, hand bags. i told her i would get her one for her birthday, (next month). do i go with the fancy but low quality stuff at walfart or a more quality but simpler (
I'm tight on money with things the way they are now,,,,,,budget) machine?

Thanks

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  #2  
Old 09/25/08, 09:44 PM
smiles and nods
 
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consider buying her one she will grow into. I wouldn't buy a wal-mart or target one... they are cheap!

try a used one at a sew-n-vac store.. get out the yellow pages and see who sells used ones.

you will get a great deal on nice but older machines.

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  #3  
Old 09/25/08, 10:04 PM
 
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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The better quality brands will frequently allow their customers to trade in their old machines for a newer, more expensive machine with more features. The machines that are traded in are frequently reconditioned and sold as "used but reconditioned to factory specs" and are a pretty good buy, sometimes. Such a machine could be a great starter machine for your daughter, and something that she could use for many years to come.

Have you posted on Freecycle about this? Someone might have a sewing machine that's just gathering dust, but they'd love to pass it on to a youngster who would enjoy it.

A low quality machine is not worth trying to use. It will constantly skip and develop bobbin snarls and such. It would be very discouraging for your daughter to try to use such a machine.

Try to get a portable machine. She might be interested in taking classes. I doubt that they have home ec classes in grade school, but she might be able to get into a junior high or high school home ec class, or a craft store class, or even learn from an older person in the neighborhood. I used to visit one of my grandmother's friends frequently, as she and I loved to talk, but even more we loved to do crafts of all sorts. She was about 50 years older than I, but we still loved to visit with each other, and she taught me many things. She had no children of her own, and she was glad to pass on what she'd learned. It worked out well for both of us.

I hope that you're able to find her a good machine at a price you can afford. If she's interested in sewing this young, she might have a real talent for it.

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  #4  
Old 09/25/08, 11:33 PM
 
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Location: SE Montana
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DO NOT buy her a toy machine she will not like sewing for very long.

Buy a good quality machine that has a warrenty that reflects her ability and future desires. New or Used is great.

Also some sewing stores offer childrens sewing classes. Some even offer package deal with the purchase of a machine.

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  #5  
Old 09/26/08, 12:05 AM
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There are good 3/4 sized machines that may be had for about $200 new, or might find a trade in for much less. That would be less heavy, but sturdy enough for regular sewing for a lot of years. Just thinking for a smaller person, but with growth potential.

I'm thinking in particular of the Janome JemII machines. Basic but does all the stuff you'll need to make garments or quilts, etc.

Angie

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  #6  
Old 09/26/08, 10:20 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: MO
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My grandpa got me a Singer Tiny Tailor when I was about that age. It worked great, but just did a straight stitch. When I was in high school, I got a plain jane singer and used it for years.

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  #7  
Old 09/26/08, 10:54 AM
 
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Try shopping for a good quality machine at a Vac and sewing Repair shop. They often have the best deals and super quality machines. It will be a bargain for both of you for years to come.

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  #8  
Old 09/26/08, 12:22 PM
 
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Location: Texas
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I have several machines, but DH thought he was doing good and bought a Brother on mark down once at Wal Mart. Does lots of the fancy stitches, auto matic button holer, and needle threader. Sews good when it will sew. Belt won't stay tight. That is NOT a good way for your daughter to learn, on a machine that is not good quality, she will get very frustrated and give it up.

Like some have said, buy her a good quality used one that has been reconditioned. You will get more BANG for your buck and your daughter will be pleased.

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  #9  
Old 09/26/08, 01:20 PM
 
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Location: Kentucky
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Try thrift stores and yard sales. Old (black) Singers are nearly indestructible. $5-10 for a machine and a few bucks to have the local sewing machine place check it out and you should be good for a long time. The old machines are so much sturdier and forgiving. (We all have to learn first hand why you aren't supposed to pull the fabric when you sew. . .)
But the only nice quality machines I've had are old. A new Brother from Walmart almost stopped me from learning how to sew. It was sooo junky.

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  #10  
Old 09/26/08, 02:41 PM
smiles and nods
 
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since everyone is posting their favs...


here is mine! (stop rolling your eyes! LOL!)

a singer 401

here is why.. scroll down and look at what it can do!! but ... all Singer 401, Singer 401A or the Singer 500 are equal. just because someone doesn't post photos and maybe doesn't have all the parts this one has.. the Singer Slant -O-Matic has parts and accessories available.

http://cgi.ebay.com/SINGER-401-INDUSTRIAL-STRENGTH-HEAVY-DUTY-SEWNG-MACHINE_W0QQitemZ270279119369QQcmdZViewItem?hash=i tem270279119369&_trkparms=72%3A1205|39%3A1|66%3A2| 65%3A12|240%3A1308&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14


they will sell up and down from $150 but that is a fair price.

here is one for $125 but no manual or attachments (manual is not a problem, I canl get one scanned in and PDF the file.)

http://cgi.ebay.com/Awesome-SINGER-401A-SLANT-O-MATIC-SEWING-MACHINE_W0QQitemZ310087138051QQcmdZViewItem?hash=i tem310087138051&_trkparms=72%3A1205|39%3A1|66%3A2| 65%3A12|240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

look at ebay search using Singer 401*

this is a a remarkable machine, one she can quilt on! does free motion stitching. I am not good at free motion embroidery but it can be done. All metal, gear driven and will last a lifetime! I have a group for the Singer Slant Swing Machines so there is lots of information available as well as help.

I own several 401's and just love them. It is a machine she can grow into and keep forever.

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  #11  
Old 09/26/08, 03:12 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NM
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I have heard good things about Janome (New Home) machines. I think they are a good value for the money. I have use a Bernina and a Pfaff and they are good, but my Janome is at least as good and nowhere near as pricey. I have heard that the lower end machines for the major companies are made by Janome. When I looked at Sears one time, a good Kenmore was made by Janome.

As much hand sewing as your daughter does, she should have a machine that does both straight and zigzag stitching, and has builtin buttonhole and freearm (for pant and sleeve hems.)

Some utility and decorative stitches are nice. Most machines have some of these. I like a slow speed setting, a drop in bobbin to see how much thread is left, and a button to drop the feed dogs (for freehand embroidery and quilting. Needle up Needle down is nice.

About used machines - be aware of how heavily the machine has been used by a former owner. Some just sit around unused and some are fairly well worn out.

My DH found a White Jeans Machine at a fm about 10 years ago. He knew I wanted something light that I could travel with and he knew what features I wanted. This one had been bought for crafts and then the woman had to move to another state before she could use it. We opened it to have a look and oiled it. He got a very good buy for under $100. I have made several buttonholes with it. I took it a couple of times on cross country trips to do some mending for relatives. It is a little noisy, but can do a lot of sewing. Retail at the time was probably under $250.

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  #12  
Old 09/26/08, 04:20 PM
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Just to say, I swear by all my Janomes.

From the Mini (5 lb, would be neat)
to the 6500P (oversized.)
and the Memory Craft 6000 my daughter got from me 6 years ago that I go used in 1989.

Good machines all.

Angie

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  #13  
Old 09/27/08, 05:20 AM
 
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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Does your daughter hand embroider now? Some of the fancy stitches on machines are fun for special effects, but really all she probably needs is straight, zigzag, buttonhole, and blind hem.

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  #14  
Old 09/27/08, 09:41 AM
 
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she has done a few of the little animal things in hoops, is it called cross stiching?

Thanks for all the help

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  #15  
Old 09/28/08, 06:25 AM
 
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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If the "things in hoops" was worked with little Xs all over the fabric, that's cross stitching.

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  #16  
Old 09/28/08, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by BeagleMommy View Post
Try thrift stores and yard sales. Old (black) Singers are nearly indestructible. $5-10 for a machine and a few bucks to have the local sewing machine place check it out and you should be good for a long time. The old machines are so much sturdier and forgiving. (We all have to learn first hand why you aren't supposed to pull the fabric when you sew. . .)
But the only nice quality machines I've had are old. A new Brother from Walmart almost stopped me from learning how to sew. It was sooo junky.

Well surprise, surprise, I agree with BeagleMommy and westbrook.
My 9 year old is learning to sew on Alice, my vintage Singer 15-91 with reverse. I think the simpler the better when they're just starting out and as mentioned, it's nearly indestructible.
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  #17  
Old 10/01/08, 02:50 PM
 
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I found a small 3/4 size Singer that just straight and zig zag stitches for my 11 yr old at Hancock Fabrics. I think it was about $60. It is a real machine and not a toy one. Granted she will want something fancier later (or not) but this was an inexpensive way to give her what she needed now. It is small enough for her to tote back and forth to the table and easy to set up and use.

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  #18  
Old 10/02/08, 09:04 PM
 
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Location: Harrisburg, AR
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I learned on my mother's old Admiral and to this day (several decades later) I LOVE that machine! I bought my daughter ( who did not want to learn when she was young) a Singer FashionMate at a yard sale the other day for $5 and it works perfectly. All metal, heavy duty and had enough attachements that she can stick with that one for awhile. Good Luck!

Kat

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  #19  
Old 10/02/08, 09:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni View Post
If the "things in hoops" was worked with little Xs all over the fabric, that's cross stitching.
Yes thats it...little x's, i think i'm going with the Janome getting ready to look on ebay now..

Thanks everyone.
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  #20  
Old 10/03/08, 05:40 AM
 
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I have watched this thread with great interest. It is beyond my imagination to get a 9-year old a sewing machine (and I have been sewing on a machine since I was 8 or younger). That being said, I would make sure that whatever used machine you buy is taken to a reputable dealer for servicing. Nothing could be more frustrating than a poorly functioning machine for a beginning sewer.

Please, if you don't sew yourself provide your daughter w/ some sewing lessons from someone. A sewing machine is not a toy and it is possible to get hurt using it. Also, think about a suitable size table for her to work at. A nine year old may be too small to reach the foot feed and the machine at the same time at a regular table. A box for the foot feed to set on could be adequate.

I have only sons and have never faced this issue. I tried to reason that it is like buying a gun or woodworking tools for a boy but would never have done that at 9 years old. I'm sure I am over reacting but could no longer resist offering precautions.

I wish you well

CS

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  #21  
Old 10/03/08, 07:15 AM
 
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Hmmmm, my son started driving a tractor at seven, pulling a 30 foot hay rake at nine, a haybine at 10 and at 11 he cut, raked and baled hay on his own. i trust his judgment more than 30% of adults i meet. he won state 22 rifle matches at 10, and placed second in the eastern national john c garand match at 12 (thats a full sized 30-06 main battle rifle from WWII). my daughter at 9 will probably start outshooting him in 22 by next year. (she has already won several state matches with bb, air rifle, and air pistol and a second and third state level 22 match) and plans to shoot in the m1 carbine event at eastern nationals next year (if we can get her age waved), both started driving at nine.

perhaps i am expecting (and getting) too much from my kids.

none of this is forced, its just what comes natural around this farm.

it is all a concern to me also,,,,i'm constantly asking them if they enjoy life, do they feel they are missing out on something because of the way they are growing up. i know that at that age i was not functioning at the level they are. tractors and equipment i know, and have an active enough imagination to visualize the dangers, rifles, i have learned since my son starting shooting for the 4-h team. sewing is outside my knowledge (although when i was 12 i used an old peddle machine to make tents and backpacks when i could not afford boy scouting equipment). but she had been taking lessons from the baby sitter that kept her and my son when they were smaller.

how do parents know how to balance growth against protection, i struggle with the issue on a daily basis.

Thank You for the concern,,,,when she first asked for a real machine (i brought her a toy one a couple of years ago, that sewed,,,,, well sometimes) all i can think of is her finger with a needl,,,,,,well you know. but i don't think i can deny her this.

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  #22  
Old 10/03/08, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by countrysunshine View Post
I have watched this thread with great interest. It is beyond my imagination to get a 9-year old a sewing machine (and I have been sewing on a machine since I was 8 or younger). That being said, I would make sure that whatever used machine you buy is taken to a reputable dealer for servicing. Nothing could be more frustrating than a poorly functioning machine for a beginning sewer.

Please, if you don't sew yourself provide your daughter w/ some sewing lessons from someone. A sewing machine is not a toy and it is possible to get hurt using it. Also, think about a suitable size table for her to work at. A nine year old may be too small to reach the foot feed and the machine at the same time at a regular table. A box for the foot feed to set on could be adequate.

I have only sons and have never faced this issue. I tried to reason that it is like buying a gun or woodworking tools for a boy but would never have done that at 9 years old. I'm sure I am over reacting but could no longer resist offering precautions.

I wish you well

CS
I should have mentioned: My 9 year old is my son.
And he told me a few weeks ago he "wants to grow up to be like Brian (a friend of mine, and fellow quilter). Because he makes art with his quilts, Mom.... Err... I mean you do too." lol

So far as getting them their own machine, that's part of why I'd recommend a $5-20 vintage Singer. Every sewing machine repairman still works on them (they're so simple though, you really don't need a pro), they're cheap obviously, virtually impossible to screw up and parts are still readily available. (Shoot, I can still get parts for my treadles!).
Though i agree that no matter what they get, you don't want to just turn them loose by themselves, yet. DS and I sew together. He sits at one machine, I at another so I can watch what he's doing, where he's putting his hands, how he's manipulating fabric, etc.


I hope no one ever tells him boys aren't supposed to sew.
Or that he'll be able to point to Brian as a glaringly obvious example that that isn't true...

As it is, he thinks boys (and girls) can do whatever it is they want to do. Whether that's playing with his circuit board creator set, rewiring his R/C cars, working horses, roping with Dad, or sewing with Mom.
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  #23  
Old 10/03/08, 09:09 AM
 
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I'd vote for a simple Kenmore. My girls have had great success with theirs and never needed a repair. I had a horrible time trying to get a Brother repaired.

PQ

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  #24  
Old 10/04/08, 02:25 AM
 
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Ordinarily, I'd say that 9 is too young. However, if this girl is handsewing items, and really WANTS a sewing machine as a present, then maybe she is has a real talent. And now that I know that she is into cross stitching, I am even more inclined to think that she has talent in this area, and should be encouraged. Perhaps she'll be a fantastic seamstress someday. Or maybe she'll start making clothes and home accessories. In any case, I firmly believe that children should be encouraged to find their interests and talents as soon as possible, and not told that they are too young for something (as long as it's a POSITIVE talent).

I think that we are not allowing our kids to grow up enough in some ways. Sure, they still need to be guided and watched, but if they are interested in adult skills and crafts, it is a joy to watch them learn how to do things, and develop confidence in these areas. In today's society, there is a great deal of fuss made over helping kids to feel good about themselves. Letting them accomplish something, by sewing, by doing chores, by doing something creative, is, I think, the best way for a child to develop a sense of self-worth. My husband frequently takes his grand nieces and nephews to his farm/hunting area, and lets them (with supervision) drive his tractor and do farm chores. They do not see this as doing chores, but as great fun.

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  #25  
Old 10/07/08, 08:57 PM
 
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I guess I should say mine has been using a sewing machine since she was 3yrs old and has yes hit her finger (it didn't kill her YES it hurt but didn't even really hurt her). She did learn to keep her fingers out of the way. My scraps were never safe.

This is what she can do today (pattern for the blouse is from a new computer software)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26329514@N05/2761148492/

and she has made even better last year, a courderoy suit with a hand drafted split skirt, and in previous years , lined jacket and skirt, a color blocked shirt and capris, Her first projects were a simple skirt with embroidered hems, reversable vest, 3 quilts, pillows, oodles of tote bags, and stuffed toys.

I don't know if you can see the rest of the stuff on my flikr pics but the fancy stuff is my sewing.

All sewing has been done on various Bernina machines except the Brazillian embroidery that is all hand.

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  #26  
Old 10/08/08, 01:52 AM
 
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I see a LOT of nice ribbons there. You must be very proud.

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  #27  
Old 10/08/08, 05:34 AM
 
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Each person's experience and their child's maturity level will make the decisions such as these. My boys were on a tractor 12+ hours a day by the time they were 12. They had been to the state fair every year in woodworking - projects they did completely themselves. They were proficient in shooting sports for rifle and shotgun and hunted with their dad. But, they were not allowed to "own" a gun until they were 12 and then it was not a right of passage but a possibility if we thought they were mature enough. They were also not allowed to handle those guns w/out supervision.

I have sewn and embroidered by hand as long as I can remember. I remember repairing my teddy bear when I was about four. Btw, I HATE hand work of any kind. I did embroidery because it was something I could do w/out supervision.

I have helped several little girls learn to sew. I just was voicing my concerns about giving a nine year old a machine. But, by the same token I think a child should be able to fix a complete meal by the time they are 7 or 8. I think they should be able read a recipe and bake cookies or something similar. I taught mine how to use a knife quite early. I know a kitchen is dangerous but I find so much pleasure in mine and spent so much time there that I quickly integrated my children into my activities.

I apologize if I was too overbearing w/ my concerns.

CS

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  #28  
Old 10/08/08, 10:01 PM
 
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Countrysunshine,,,absolutely no reason to apologize,,,,,,i was looking for advise and of course your post is something to think about....its something i worry about also....

Thank You for your post.

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  #29  
Old 10/09/08, 07:53 PM
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I teach young girls to sew. I have from ages 9-18. Please, please, get her a real machine that really works! If you get a used one, get one with a guarantee. Make sure it is in good working condition, and has been cleaned very well, recently. So many of my girls come to class with a very old machine - lacking a presser foot, the correct bobbin, and no instructions. The tension almost always doesn't work properly and it is a nightmare to try to learn to sew.

I wouldn't bother with a mini-machine. Just get her a basic regular-sized machine. 9 Yr olds can usually handle a regular machine just as well as the mini, which she will outgrow quickly. Get as good of a machine that you can afford for her. I think buying one from a local dealer is better than WM or a discount store where you will get no help. You might pay more at a dealer, but they might throw in quite a few extras for you too - like a year's cleaning, free classes, etc. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to learn to sew with a maching that doesn't do what it is supposed to do.

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  #30  
Old 10/09/08, 08:13 PM
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So many of my girls come to class with a very old machine - lacking a presser foot, the correct bobbin, and no instructions. The tension almost always doesn't work properly and it is a nightmare to try to learn to sew.
Then obviously it's not old enough.
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