Yesterday I went and bought a Pfaff Hobby 1016 ($139) from my local sewing shop(Denton Sewing Center). The shop owner sat down with me and showed me how to set everything up and taught me how to sew the basic stitches. This is the first time I've ever even seen a sewing machine in person.
On my way home I stopped by the fabric store and bought 4yds of ripstop nylon(4.88/yd) and 4yds of regualar nylon(1.88/yd) for practice. I also got nice scissors and good thread metrosene and gutermans.
When I got home I immediately printed out instructions on how to sew a stuff sack from thru-hiker. I spent about 2 hours working on the stuff sack including trying to watch Always Sunny in Philadelphia while sewing so really only an hour and I am almost done and it looks great. All that is left is to sew the buttonhole to run the cord through.
Just wanted to share my first experience with making my own gear and using a sewing machine. I was very intimidated at first but I am gaining confidence and its only been one day.