Don't be intimidated. Pick up a machine (I got an older model at a thrift store for $20 and a electronic one for $40 at an auction) and play! I had to buy a manual for the Elna machine I bought, since it didn't come with the item, and I couldn't figure out how to thread it. I don't remember where I bought it from; I think it might have been this one, but you can get manuals for second hand machines though you may have to pay. This site may help you find a manual as well.
I really have to say that the basics I was given at home and the making of play clothes and other items that I wasn't too worried about looking sloppy, has been what made me confident enough to refashion a sentimental item of clothing into something I would wear in public. I don't think I would have attempted it a year ago even. And I know I still have a long way to go in learning how to sew well.
I think it would behoove anyone to learn how to sew. Hopefully you have a mother or grandmother that could teach you; I bet they would be happy to do so! If not, you can always learn the basics and play until you build up your confidence. Look up community college classes if that is available to you or below are some free instruction books on pdf. I am actually wanting to follow the old hand sewing books from 1901 and 1915 when I get the time! I have also easily picked up old sewing books from like the 1960s (maybe there was a big rage for learning to sew back then?) that have lots of in depth instructions on sewing. Like how to do every kind of pleat imaginable to vinyl bedspreads for your child's room. Ok, so most of the designs are way outdated (who would ever want a vinyl bedspread!) and make you wonder why anyone thought that was cool, but all the information on how to sew arm holes and pleats and such is worth a quarter at a garage sale!
Free Sewing Book for Beginners
Hand Sewing Lessons
When Mother Lets Us Sew
And remember, if you know how to sew pass it on to the next generation!