I read all the helpful tips that I received from my last post, as well as following the links to some very informative posts of some others, all of which encouraged me not to be afraid and to get to know my machine's stitches first.
So here is the settings that I ended up using: (this is mostly a reminder for future reference)
So far I am VERY happy with the dress, especially the drape and the gathering on the side. I have finished the entire dress, but am not showing it all to you yet because there is still the neckline to go. I didn't line the bodice, and so am going to put the clear elastic around the neckline instead. At the moment the dress is very loose around the neck and quite revealing, so I'll just give you a quick little peek.
|Me holding the loose neckline down firmly|
I have ordered some clear elastic for the neckline but it hasn't arrived yet, but I am sure that once I attach this clear elastic my gaping neckline shall become more secure and snug, and ready to reveal.