My paternal grandmother taught me how to hand sew when I was about 5 or 6. She would let me use anything in her scrap basket and I thought it was the best thing in the world! I made Barbie clothes, mostly.
I remember that I thought her Christmas tree skirt would be neat as a skirt for me, so she showed me how to make a circle skirt using the tree skirt pattern- I hemmed it all by hand and it took forever!
I wonder if my mother saved any of the Barbie clothes I made...
My mom and sister saved up enough money ($50) to buy me a used sewing machine from my aunt, and I can't remember what brand it was, but it was a piece of junk and I didn't use it much. My next sewing machine was a Brother, and it was a piece of junk, also. I got a used Singer Fashionmate next, and I loved it! Unfortunately, I lent it to a friend who left it in her house that got foreclosed on
I then traded the Brother in for an Elna 1010 in '97 or '98 and that's what I've been sewing with ever since. I love it and I will never get rid of it. I bought a Bernina overlock machine about 7 or 8 years ago, but haven't used it much.