I finally took my sewing class. And I did not live up to my worst fears. I was not awful and I did not hate it. I have a better idea of what's going on although that final step to threading the machine, getting the bobbin thread picked up (ooh, look at me use a sewing word) is still a bit unclear to me.
Below you will see my, uh, handiwork, displayed. The bunched up section is on purpose, I would like to clarify. It's how you make a gather or ruffle. There is a tidy topstitch that even managed to be straight on the very bottom. Woo hoo!