Originally Posted by David
toy machines are no good :-(
but would an old work horse suit an 11year old no. get a self threading machine
more suited to dressmaking for her and find something better for dad...
I bought a few machines till i got my sailrite walking foot machine now I can sew almost anything like ten layers of webbing half inch thick :-)
There's no need to get a self threading machine for dressmaking (I've sewed professionally at times) and other than a couple of seams on blue jeans that need special handling because of the number of layers of denim, there's nothing in clothing or doll clothes that will ever need something that handles 10 layers of webbing. Okay, I have to use my reading glasses to thread the machines now but heck, I'm in my 60's ..
Personally, I'm partial to something like the Singer 401A I have - it handles everything from lingerie fabric to heavy denims with no problems, can handle twin needles, has a bunch of settings for zig-zag and comes with a collection of cams that can be used for fancy stitches. The 401A was one of the first slant shaft machines that allowed the operator to go over straight pins (it's meant to slip past them). It also comes with the ability to make buttonholes although it's one feature that I prefer a buttonholer for. It's also a tough machine which is important when for a younger more inexperienced sewer.
Disclaimer: I've not had a chance to play with any of the other earlier machines. I learned on an early sixties plastic thing of my mothers, used a whole variety of machines in sewing classes in high school and have used maybe another 5 or 6 different models of my own and friends since then.