Simple to use
All of the basics in the box (button hole foot, zipper foot)
Cons: Tension and bobbin winding = Finicky.
Won't handle thicker fabrics well, if at all.
When I bought this machine calling me a beginner sewer would have been scandalous. I have now, a few years later, graduated to beginner. At the time I was looking to purchase a machine I didn't know if I'd want to stick with sewing. I did know that I would need more than what a hand held machine would offer. I did not want to spend much and go all out, in case the sewing thing did not sit well with me. Enter this machine.
Now to give you an example of how clueless I was? I see that this beauty includes five "presser feet". Why does a sewing machine never several types of feet and what do they have to do with pressing? Yeah. I had no clue. Heck to be honest I still look at them and have no clue which one is for what save for the button hole contraption, that one is pretty identifiable.
So what does someone who knows that little about sewing and sewing machines think of this machine?
I can tell you this - I took it out of the box and, yes, did have it working in a reasonable amount of time. It probably could have been an instant thing, but having never set up a sewing machine I did actually skim the manual this time. I was able to sew with it instantly after setting up the thread. I understood how to change the stitches right away. So yes, for an affordable machine meant to handle some real sewing tasks (vs the one stitch tricks of the handhelds) this was a perfect starter.
That said, there have been some negatives. The tension has been a little tricky. Even as a beginner, I am no fool. I do understand that different fabrics or threads can require a little tweaking of this setting. That said, using the same fabric and same brand and weight of thread -- well, simply changing the color meant everything went out of whack. It seemed off to me for such dramatic changes in the tension with such a minor change.
Then came the bobbin winding dramas. At times it just didn't like winding them properly, possibly user error I suppose. Except it's really not a complicated task and I just felt like it's so temperamental that it wasn't worth using it to wind bobbins and I ended up buying a separate bobbin winder instead as it was less of a headache.
There is a fairly thin instructional manual, which surprisingly covers a lot of ground. For what it is, it is decent enough. Some of the instructions are very clear. Some of the others left me wandering off to the internet as tips and tricks from experience users of the machine were far clearer and easier to follow.
I have sewn a few layers of material at a time with it, including a thin denim, but this is definitely not going to be an industrial machine.
Overall with what I wanted to spend on a first machine, I did well. Knowing what I know now, that I'd keep on with it, I'd probably have spent the extra money on something a little sturdier.