I am considering a sewing machine for Christmas as somewhat of a gift for myself and my wife. I have been using my mom's old Sears, and it works ok, but I would like to consider something newer...and return this one to my mom. My wife has started showing some interest in sewing, making little purses and pajamas, etc., and I have made a tarp and UQ's and TQ's will follow....along with the odds and ends, tree straps, stuff sacks, wristies, etc.
I know I can shop around the used market, and I will do that, but if I were to walk into say Joann's or some local sewing shop, what are some models to consider as a model that would not be the basic starter machine, as we do have a little sewing experience, but something with a few more advanced features and in the $200 or less range? I plan to talk to some of the people at the local shops, but wanted to get a little feedback from you guys, knowing the type of stuff I would be working with. Is $150-$200 a range that will get me something that will last me a while and handle the type of stuff I want to do (hammocking gear, camping gear, etc.)