Whenever I get the intense girlish urge to shop for things I can't afford, I remember...I have a sewing machine and a little bit of know-how under my belt. I will say this a thousand times, I am not a seamstress at all...but you do not have to be a seamstress to make your own clothes! I find that making clothing works just like any other artistic problem solving, and just because you don't get it right the first time, doesn't mean you should give up!
One of the first things I did before I made my own clothes was simple altering like making my jeans tighter, or band t-shirts fit me. All I did for this was turn the garment inside out, lay a garment that fit me exactly the way I like it to (think your perfect tee), and then trace with soap an outline of the snug garment over the ill fitting one. From there you just straight pin the piece and do a simple straight stitch to alter your piece. Always try it on before cutting out the extra fabric...if you are new the game you may want a seam ripper close by so that you can try try again if your first attempt fails.
From there, I started taking apart clothing to understand the panels and parts and the ways in which it fit all together. It was sort of like being a little kid and taking apart a radio and trying to piece it back together...but in this case, I would trace the panels on new fabric and try to put together my OWN piece of clothing. I really learned by trial and error. Of course I can always learn more, but after all of this experimenting, I now can make my own clothing, make clothing for others in various sizes, and custom fit clothing for other people. It feels great to know who made your clothing, and feels even greater when the piece is special and no one else has it. For those of us who failed at sandbox, doesn't it feel great to have a custom piece!?
I made this top and skirt which paired together make a really fun outfit, that is one of a kind. That is one of my favorite things about making your own clothes, you can make only ONE of the piece if you want, which guarantees that you will not show up to a party wearing the same damn dress as someone else!