My daughter is 12, and while I let her brother sew with my Husq's (I have a Designer I & Sapphire 850), my daughter isn't so careful... well, two summers ago, we found a curbside special at the end of a garage sale-ing day where they were tossing an old machine. It is in phenomenally clean & good condition! Has its own built-in table, etc.
It is an Elgin Model #2468 secured into its own table (flips down to hide the machine if you want just the table displayed).
We played with it for about an hour after cleaning up the dust bunnies, and it worked great. But when she went to sew her first official project (a pillow made with fleece), the feeddogs started running backwards. Yup, backwards, in tiny little increments. (I gave her good poly fleece, and we had Gutermann thread on it, so it wasn't junk supplies).
Hubby & I took off outer casings and troubleshot as best we could, but it looks like all the worm gears and connections are all fine, and running proper. Not sure what the problem is.
Needless to say, it was a curbside special (free) and with today's economy, I really cannot swing $90 for our local shop to look at it and see if it can be fixed. (their cost is $89.99 regardless of what machine it is, serger, embroidery, coverstitch, whatever).
This is a great machine, and I'd love to get it working again, as she is interested in using it. Any ideas of what could be making it stitch backward? Have already troubleshot the reverse mechanism, that's not it.