Anyhow, this afternoon, I pulled out a half-finished dress and approached the machine with trepidation. It's done, however, and doesn't look bad. It's not great - you can definitely tell it's homemade, and not in the best of ways - but it's not bad. It's comfy. It'll do for running to the library or if we make it back to the beach this summer or something like that. Part of the problem with it is that it violates one of my prime directives of clothing: large women should not wear big, shapeless clothing, as it makes us look even bigger. This dress may end up becoming a shirt and top at some point.
So, I feel mildly satisfied. I have a drawstring skirt to seam up, and then I should find a smaller project to practice on. I can always use another bag, and I have enough fabric in the stash that finding something suitable shouldn't be a problem.