I just finished up me first al DIY project (an ix uq) and thought I'd share some of the stuff I learned for any other DIY newbies. This information is probably already on the forum, but I thought it be nice for one newbie to share some of this in one thread.
Before I dive in, let me say that if I can do this, anyone can.
1) practice, practice, practice. Seriously, take time before you dive in. I did and it helped, but my biggest mistake here was not practicing with nylon before hand. It's so thin and slick it was like working with a whole new beast. I ended up running into an issue where the bottom layer was feeding faster than my top layer, even with all the pins. Now sure what caused this, but I will definitely figure it out before I tackle the down TQ that I want to do.
2) pins are good. You can't really have enough pins. In fact, if you think you have enough pins, you probably don't and should add more.
3) even if you think you can handle holding all the layers together by hand, you can't (trust me on this), so see rule 2.
4) go slow. No one is going to care or know if you get it done in one hour or in five. Also, lots of pins helps to force you to go slow, so see rule 2 again.
5) grosgrain is a god send. Seriously, if you get half way done and you look at your project and notice it's ugly as can be, don't despair. Wait until you get that grosgrain on there. Grosgrain might not have been able to hide all of my sins, but it got most of them.
6) with great seam ripper comes great responsibility. If you screw up and have to rip all or part of the seam, take your time, lots and lots of time. These little buggers are sharp, and if you aren't careful, you WILL cut a gash if your fabric (again, you'll just have to trust me on this).
7) be careful not to let any extra fabric on the bottom layer sneak in close to the needle. Sigh.
8) have fun, remember to enjoy your hobby.
Anyway, that's all I can really think of right now. So if any net diy'er reads this, hopefully you'll save yourself some grief.