Personal Project - Learn the Sewing Machine

I want to learn something new this year and I've decided it is about time I learned how to confidently use a sewing machine.
I've used a sewing machine a few times, way back in middle school home economics class and once recently with a lot of supervision and help. I'm super intimidated by them terrified of breaking it. This is no good and needs to end! Luckily for me Jason knows how to use the sewing machine and he's going to work on teaching me.
colorful animal fabirc
I'm going to be learning how to use the sewing machine by making some skirts. I wear skirts almost all the time and I keep finding all this super cute animal fabric I want to use. First I'll  be using the elephant fabric with the pink/purple fabric.
I want to make skirts that at first glance seem pretty normal. Skirts that I can wear pretty much everywhere. At second glance you notice that they have a fun crazy pattern. As you can see, I favor patterns with lots of colors and big cartoon animals. No surprises there! I want to try and keep these skirts fun and quirky and hopefully not venture too far into the land of garish and tacky. 
I also really want to learn how to crochet, especially amigurumis, but  I figured it is best to tackle one learning hurdle at a time.
Are you trying to learn something new this year? What is it? How's it going? Share you learning adventures!
Now the books I'm reading this week!

Primates: The Amazing World of Lemurs, Monkeys, and Apes - by Art Wolfe (Photographs), Russell Mittermeier (Foreword)  - I got this book to do some research for March Monkey Madness. I wasn't planning on reading it the whole way through. I only have one small section left to finish. Primates are fascinating

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen- I just started listening to this book. My friend Kelly is doing Jane Austen January on her blog, Reading with Analysis, and I thought it would be fun to participate. Pride and Prejudice is the only Jane Austen book I've read, due to Kelly's encouragement last year. I liked it more than I thought I would. This was her recommendation for me this January.
We' re still working on White Night (The Dresden Files #9) by Jim Butcher from last week's post. Not a lot of book listening time over the last week. 
I finished Behemoth: The History of the Elephant in America by Ronald B. Tobias. This book was interesting to read. It was also pretty awful to read at times, people have done so many horrible things to elephants. It was especially shocking how recent some of the events were. Definitely thought provoking and it seemed well researched.