Is it easy to use a sewing machine? I tend to hand sew but it is not as professional looking and dreadfully slow so am thinking of getting a sewing machine. Are they easy to get the hang of and to set up etc??
Yes very easy once you get the hang of it, especially if its just sewing in straight lines; zips and button holes are a bit tricky though. Gets a bit frustrating if there's a problem with your machine- mine sometimes has a habit of snagging, trying to eat the fabric etc. Most problems are to do with the wrong tension so its advisable to do a test run on a scrap of fabric until you're sure you've got it right.
My mum picked up a good one from a charity shop (actually, my first machine came form a charity shop too) She got it serviced, just to check it was all fine and dandy, and she's been using it as her main machine for about 4 years now. (it is a basic Jones, though, and only has straight stitch, but my chirty-shop-machine had zigzag too)