When I was looking into learning to sew, and it all seemed big and scary and impossible, I had one goal in mind: I want to make a wrap dress. I love wrap dresses, but I almost never find them in a style or material that I like. I had a vision of myself with a wardrobe full of wrap dresses, wearing wrap dresses every day, disappearing into the loos two or three times and a day and coming out in a completely different wrap dress. "I will make nothing but wrap dresses," I told everyone excitedly. "I will wear nothing but wrap dresses. I will sleep in wrap dresses. I will go to the gym in wrap dresses. Under my wrap dresses I will wear wrap dress underwear."
(My friends are used to me, it's fine.)
So far, I have made no wrap dresses. The thing is, wrap dresses are made in jersey. And jersey is scary.
For the last couple of months I've been reading tutorials and watching instructional videos in much the same way as I used to read the Wikipedia pages for horror films. "See, it's fine. You're reading this and everything is fine. You can handle it, you're not a wimp. It's simply a description of OH MY GOD WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT WHY WHY WHY no it's fine, it's OK, most people would be able to deal with this and you can too. Now shut down the internet and go to bed." Three hours later I'd be lying awake: "Oh God oh God oh God all the stitching just popped out and it all wrinkled up and looked terrible and I think I heard a noise and my machine doesn't even do a stretch stitch and that was definitely a shadow and a ballpoint needle is going to leap out of that dark corner and eat me..."
(I don't watch horror films.)
But I really want this wrap dress. So I paid for an online course in sewing with knits, I watched every video I could find. I ordered stretch needles and stretch twin needles for my sewing machine, ballpoint pins, a rotary cutter. A lot of videos recommended a walking foot, but a walking foot for my machine cost over £50 and I couldn't justify that. Some videos tried to tell me that sewing with jersey wasn't more difficult, it was just different, and I pre-emptively cursed them for stirring an optimism that would soon be dashed. I ordered a pattern for a jersey top. I bought a couple of jersey remnants (actually quite a lot of jersey remnants. And some non-remnants. I have a problem). And this week I'm going to try it for the first time.
I am genuinely terrified. Which is ridiculous. What kind of daft human being is terrified of making a top? It can't be that difficult to change a needle in a sewing machine, or to get stretchy fabric to go through a sewing machine. My jersey pattern looks incredibly simple to sew, and jersey doesn't fray, so in true slapdash fashion I can even skip finishing the raw edges. This should be exactly the kind of thing that works for me. A couple of seams, a sleeve insertion, some hemming, and I'm done. It'll be fine. My fabric is pre-washed. My pattern is printed. I am ready.
Here we go.