I got a little bit ahead of myself today.
I was so excited about successfully making a skirt that I thought, "Now that I can sew, why don't I make a dress?" I figured a dress would be easy because I already know how to make the skirt part so I would just have to make a skirt, add a bodice and - BAM - beautiful homemade dress. I pictured myself wearing it to the bridal shower I am throwing for one of my cousins-in-law. All of the aunts would show up to the bridal shower and say, "What a beautiful dress! Where did you get it?" Then I would smile modestly and say, "Actually, I made it myself." They'd turn to each other and say, "Wow, she cooks, she cleans, and she sews her own clothes? Rex Lee certainly found himself a gem of a wife." I have this strangely insatiable need to impress my in-laws, but then again who doesn't?
So...the dress was supposed to be easy. Um, it isn't. It turned out I was acting like a first grader who just learned how to add saying, "Gee whiz, I can do math! Bring on the Calculus!" No no, little first grader. You're skipping a few steps.
First of all, I thought my skirt had a lot of pieces. It had nine. My dress has eighteen. It's a challenge just to keep track of all of the pieces I cut out and know which ones were which. I took lots of time to cut out the pieces precisely so that I could line them up right. I pinned them well and began to stich, and then my sewing machine threw a tantrum.
I've never seen a sewing machine freak out like that. It was possessed. It started crinkling my fabric, dropping stitches, and making weird hopping motions. Seriously - the needle would hop a few inches forward or backward for seemingly no apparent reason. I said the only logical thing to say in this situation: "Ummm...Mom?"
My mom came and gave it a try, but the machine wouldn't behave for her either. We finally discovered it was because I was trying to make my dress out of jersey knit fabric. I liked how drapey it was, but my life would have been easier if I just picked cotton. My mom thought that we might have to buy a new machine for that type of fabric, and obviously we couldn't do that. I texted my mother-in-law and asked her if she knew of any relatives who are good at sewing and might be able to solve my problem. She responded with, "All the people I would tell you to call are dead." Oh, okay. Not exactly helpful.
I turned to Google for advice, which might have been cheating because they definitely didn't have Google in the fifties. I was desperate, though, so you're going to have to forgive me. Google told me that I could buy a special needle that would work on jersey knit, so I ventured out to Hobby Lobby to track down the special needle.
Once I had the special needle, the sewing machine stopped being angry (phew!). The next problem I'm encountering is the fact that I don't know what half of the parts of the bodice are. Interfacing? Stay-stitching? Edge-tape? Selvages? Learning to sew is like learning a new language.
I'm lucky I have my mom to help me....so far I'm pretty frustrated. Maybe I should stick to skirts, especially the types that don't have pockets.