I started sewing at about age 8 or 9; learned from my mother and grandmother on an old singer that had been converted to electric from a treadle machine. I loved that machine! I've since inherited my grandmother's treadle machine and used it once to make curtains in my first apartment. That was a lot of work and it took awhile to figure out the shuttle (in place of a bobbin) but was an experience! I am now totally a Bernina girl!