Join the club, TackBradley.
Read all the posts I started in the past 10 days here in the Interior Forum ... and those by Dusty82 ... there are 2 books mentioned that are really worth having and, since I just purchased an industrial walking foot machine last week, I've been asking all the questions a beginner would ask.
Top stitching is when you sew a visible thread-line to one side of a seam ... french stitching is when you sew a visible thread-line on both sides of a seam.
You need an industrial machine. I started with an old Singer workhorse (see here
) and modified it to the max only to learn that it takes the right tools for the right job and in order to sew heavy leather like I'm doing, I needed an industrial walking foot machine. I found what I believe is a great machine at an unbelievable price that included everything I needed to get started -- (see details and link to buy here