As a professional seamstress and sewing instructor, for my beginners, I suggest that getting acquainted with your sewing machine. Go through the instruction booklet and go over the procedure for threading the sewing machine, stitching lengths, the presser feet that comes with your machine and practice a straight stitch, using a small stitch length, to a basting stitch (the longest stitch on the machine indicator). How to thread a bobbin, what a bobbin is, etc
The manual will tell you what thread to use. For example, get a spool of polyester/cotton thread. You can purchase at Walmart, Michael's Crafts, or Fabric Store.
Then, practice a reverse stitch, which locks your stitching in place, at the beginning of a seam, and the end of a seam.
Once you have accomplished a straight stitch, then get a piece of broadcloth fabric (cotton fabric), cut a 4x4 square, fold it, and stitch the edge, making a seam. Keep folding piece over and stitching seams, until you are satisfied that you can make a simple pillow case or pillow.
Here are some tools you will need to begin to sew:
A GOOD SEWING MACHINE TO LEARN WITH -- Singer or Brother, or Janome (simple 18-stitch or 12-stitch machines for the Beginner)
Scissors from 8" to 9" long
Tailor's chalk or tracing pen (purple) color will come out of fabric
CONFIDENCE -- YOU CAN SEW!
The simple patterns to begin with and which are suggested to my students, are Simplicity, Butterick, and McCall's (only for decorative home sewing) For FASHION, I suggest Butterick and Simplicity. Butterick is close to the fashion industry designs and size charts, whereby Simplicity will run larger in size.
Remember, formal wear purchased from a boutique is cut junior size; therefore, Butterick is suggested to use.
I do have a sewing newsletter for beginners, covering reading patterns to terminology and more -- contact me at pthreads10 to inquire. Thank you.