OK, I did it. I had my first sewing lesson yesterday evenening. Many, many thanks to Headchange4U for his patience, understanding, guidance and most of all, taking time to help me. I really do appreciate it, HC, thanks a mil! After messing around with my sewing machine, which didn't want to cooperate at all, we went to HC's machine and he gave me a few pointers and let me try some simple things like straight stitching, etc. The best part of it all? My first piece of DIY gear, a sil stuff sack . It may seem simple, but to me, it was a big deal. I told myself on the way home that I wasn't going to make a stink out of it, but there's the pic. Hopefully plenty more DIY stuff to come after I can get the machine serviced and working right. Maybe an operator's manual would help.