Used to be huge sewing fan, made all my own clothes, soft furnishings, suits, coats the lot when student and first in work. Had a basic brother machine which cost £20 new in 1977! Since 'proper' job no time so haven't done much since last curtains made in around 1994.
I now have a singer concerto 5215. Bought in 1999 at huge cost when on maternity leave. Used it a bit before dd born and then had so little time didn't use for several years. I reckon I used it about 10 times max. Now, going back to it I simply cannot get on with it - it has a weird bobbin (not drop in) and so many stitches - it feels like each time i use it i have to learn again. I just never get it out as it feels like such a hassle.
But now my dd has started to do some needlework stuff at school and I'd really like to encourage her and get back into it myself.
So, chuck the machine (well, not literally) and get a new one? Or what? Money is extremely tight as I am out of work so have small budget - looking on ebay I can see millions of strange shaped modern looking ones and have no idea. Wish I'd kept my old Brother!
I'd sell it & buy a re con old Brother or similar -
I'm like yourself as in sewed for years, but gave up due to being too busy at work & no need (working designer), so eventually got rid of my old solid industrials & heavy old Singer & replaced with a modern lightweight machine to use now & again - I HATED it,modern machines are rubbish - too light & bouncy for my liking - so I ended up regretting getting rid of my old ones & bought an older heavy Singer, which basic as it is, I love
though having just checked my current machine its a Jones(942) not a singer as I said first. I think you can't go far wrong with any of the older singer, Brother, Jones or Pfaff, & Bernina are great - though usually more expensive
but I'd recommend you buying from a specialist sewing machine shop, you'll probably find something in your yellow pages etc, likely tucked away on the edge of your nearest town - all the ones I've known do re-conditioned machines, so they've already been serviced & will come with a guarantee too, they'll have plenty to choose from, so you can play around & see what model suits your needs best