As the (less than) proud owner of three broken sewing machines* (let that be a lesson: if someone gives you a sewing machine, there is likely not much life left in it) I am now looking at buying a simple machine, one that I can actually use to sew stuff.
I am very inexperienced at sewing and not very confident – though I think I would have become more confident by now if I had not been working on machines that get stuck or jam every few minutes – and so it needs to be something simple. Which is a good thing because it means I’m looking at the cheaper end of the market.
I’ve found some good advice at Ask Metafilter, and also on the John Lewis site there is a guide to buying sewing machines. The one I’m most interested in right now is the John Lewis entry-level machine. For £70 more they have one with a free arm, but I don’t know if I’d use it enough to justify the extra expense.
*Two of which I am keeping for sentimental reasons, and one of which I will soon be getting rid of.