Go for it. Stay away from the elcheapo machines... they'll frustrate you -- but there are still lots of good vintage machines around in the cheapies' price range. http://www.cet.com/~pennys/faq/smfaq.htm A lot of the newer lower end machines do not have adjustable presser foot pressure, which I think really handicaps the person sewing with some of the new fabrics. And I'd also suggest you might want a machine with a blindhem and stretch blindhem stitches -- suggested reading: the chapter on blindhems in Carol Ahles' Fine Machine Sewing (excellent book, available in most public libraries). My pick for brands for a new, good midline machine: Juki, Toyota, Viking, Elna, Pfaff, Bernina.
I think the thing you may notice first is that good fusible interfacing has improved, though there's still a lot of junk interfacing out there. And that misses' patterns are still mostly for Miss Perky B Cup, so you may get better fit from some of the independent pattern makers (http://www.patternreview.com is an excellent source of information on patterns)
There's currently a shirtmaking "challenge" going on at the yahoo group "creative machine" led by Pam Erny, a custom men's shirtmaker... you might want to at least read some of the archives. She's also got a blog called "off the cuff" with tutorials. Creative Machine might be a good email group to hang around in while you get your sewing chops back.
45+ years of sewing
· 1 decade ago