When I was young my grandmother let me (ab)use her beautiful Singer sewing machine. It was a vision of black with gold floral designs. They really don't make them like they used to! My mother still has the strange decapitated teddy head, that I made aged 10, sat on a bookshelf. Threading the bobbin terrified me (and still brings dread) but the manual wheel made the actual sewing process so smooth and refined. I wish we hadn't sold it when she died - perhaps one day I'll track one down and buy it just so I can look at it.
Since childhood I have periodically dabbled with sewing. I pride myself on being the person who never returns clothes to stores owing to missing buttons or seam tears. I'm pretty deft with a needle and have mended many an item by hand. However, when it comes to machine sewing I have merely improved from mildly inept!
In the summer of 2008 I joined a course at SewFastSewEasy.com I managed to attend two classes and made a small bag and half a skirt. Unfortunately the Saturday slot inevitably meant I'd miss a class owing to a hangover... and so, having failed to attend the session to finish the skirt I gave up!