Someone asked me how to learn to sew and I told him to start by learning to work with a thimble. This will protect your finger as you work with multiple layers which can sometimes be stiff. First, get an open-ended thimble in the correct size. The average size is 10 or 11.
Thread a piece of ribbon through the thimble, then place the thimble on your middle finger. Bend the finger toward your palm and have someone tie the ribbon. Take a threaded needle between your thumb and index finger, with the end supported by the thimble. The dimples are there so the needle won’t slip. Now practice taking stitches. It is pretty hateful at first but you will eventually get the hang of it. Use a turning motion of your wrist to drive the needle through the cloth- most people’s natural tendency is to extend the finger to drive the needle through, and like this you will tire quickly, especially when working with thickness like canvas or collars. This is why you are tieing your finger- to rid yourself of this tendency.