I bought a Janome Memorycraft 5000 sewing and embroidery machine in 1996 and by that time I had a daughter as well as two sons and little dresses with embroidered motifs kept me busy along with a constant supply of trousers, short and pyjamas for the boys.
As a family present for the millennium, we bought a computer - that opened up a new world of sewing. I stumbled on pattern drafting software whilst visiting sewing sites and bought Wild Ginger Pattern Master Boutique for myself and WG PM Child's Play for the children in 2000. http://www.wildginger.com/ I was pretty prolific sewing for the children once I was up and running with the software. Through the internet I met up with other UK users of this software and set up a UK Users Email list - still going strong 7 years later, though we no longer only talk about Wild Ginger software, more a general UK sewing list with any pattern software thrown in when folks want to talk about it. http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/UKSewing/ I've since bought WG PM Curves and Tailor Made, but have not really used them much - there's never enough time to do everything I want to do.
A Bernina 1100D joined my machines next - what a difference that made to putting the children's clothes together - fantastic - why did I wait so long - just remembered why - they cost a lot of money <
Last month my fourth machine arrived. Went to Sewing for Pleasure at the NEC on 31 March, with no intention of buying anything much. Anyway, after a couple of demos, first at the Brother stand, then Janome, DH said I could have the Janome Memorycraft 4900QC as my 50th birthday present (not 'til December, but shop early for Christmas and all that........). I love it. It has lots of stitches, is easy to understand (probably because I already have a Memcraft machine), stitch quality is excellent - auto tension which I have not had before is great. I could go on, and on, and on, but won't. It's wonderful!!! http://www.janome.co.uk/products/MC4900QC.php