I confess: I am very much of a beginner sewer and finally tried one at my 20's! *embarrassed* No one has officially taught me how to use a sewing machine, but I have somewhat observed my mom sewing since I was a child. What made me finally tried to sew was the fact I found a gorgeous vintage top which sleeves needed to be shortened. That saying, this review is really from a beginner, so forgive me if my sewing vocabulary is quite limited or my review seems roundabout. I read the instruction manual which was quite easy to read for the most part. It was well organized, i.e included basics of using the bobbin, threading the needle, buttoning,etc. However, there were very few parts of the manual which was confusing particularly the pictures. For example, I followed the pictures for threading the needle but I was doing something wrong because once I start the machine, the thread would just come off the spool. I'd say it took me at almost 3 hours to finally get thread it correctly much to my dismay. I even re-wrote a little excerpt on that part of the instruction for future reference just in case. Besides this minor annoyance, the Huskystar overall works fine once one gets used to knowing how to operate it. It does basic sewing very well. It is very easy to maneuver. One simply presses buttons or turn knobs to adjust for stitch tension or which stitch 'design' such as straight, zigzag or for buttons, etc. I havent had any problems with the foot pedal. The quality of the sewing/stitching is very good; I havent had problems with my work being undone from the washing machine nor everyday use. In essence: I would say this is a great gift for a novice sewer of any age as it is an easy machine to operate. Just be aware of few parts of the faulty instructions.