I finally did it. I've borrowed Mum's sewing machine and planted it firmly on my craft table. I just threaded it up without anything going wrong - Mum can attest that last time she witnessed me attempt to thread a machine, I just couldn't get it right.
And I've sewn something. Nothing major - already I've split the bum seam in my amazing yellow pajamas, so I just repaired it, all by myself, no issues! I thought about continuing my Laurel dress unsupervised, but just realised I don't have any bias tape (and there's nowhere to get that on a public holiday) and I don't have access to an overlocker right now… I guess this is the issue with learning in a cool place, you get access to all the tools you need to do a good job! I'll have to learn how to finish pieces well at home before I even consider investing in an overlocker myself. I also don't feel quite confident enough to finish it all by myself, but maybe for my next dress I'll feel more prepared.