Just a thought, I too found the sewing machine stored in a back bedroom closet, and thought it was time I learned to use it.
I stumbled upon an Adult Ed class in beginning sewing and it has been the best resource. I started without even knowing how to thread the machine, and at this point I have made a G4 pack, rain jacket, and numerous stuff sacks. Next is the Ray Way tent tarp !
I only feel limited by my imagination.
So, look around your local area for a beginning class, they are out there. And, get comfortable with your seam ripper.