Miscellaneous Needlework Sites
When I was a new bride in the mid-sixties, I found an old book called something like "Design Your Own Dress Patterns" in the Indianapolis Library. I measured myself, followed the step-by-step instructions for drafting a bodice pattern, and made the prettiest housedress I've ever owned. I didn't follow up on that then, but many years later, when I got fed up with trying to buy work pants and resumed sewing, having had that experience made an enormous difference in my attitude.
So I just naturally wanted to recommend that other beginning dressmakers draft a sloper from measurements, but each time I reviewed a pattern-drafting book, it turned out to be a discussion of what you do with the sloper once you've drafted it — save one that assumes that you have professional drafting equipment, already know all about slopers, and want a by-guess-and-by-golly method of whomping one out in five minutes flat. And then, while poking around on the Vintage Sewing website, I came across (Rest of discussion commented out because (sob, whine) the links are dead.)
Excellent instructions for pleating fabric by drawing up running stitches. The description assumes that you plan to smock the pleats, but this pleating method can be used for many purposes.
10 October 2016: link checked and found dead. If you know where it went, write me!
The rest of this is hopelessly out of date, so I commented it out.
links tested 10 October 2016; first two are live, the third is dead.
18th-Century shirt -- translated from Garsault.
Upon following the link, I find that the same people have webbed Beeton's Book of Needlework, by Isabella Beeton
Fashion Incubator has lots and lots of good information.
Bella found a great resource on sewing. "Home Hobbies: Sewing Resources at Home" appears to be like "Get Out of Here", but is much more ambitious.
It warns you when a link leads to a PDF or a video, and has a brief comment on each link. The pages linked to vary in quality, and even the best pages (including mine!) include some doubtful information: engage brain.
I was disappointed when I found a pressing ham in the sewing store — I'd always envisioned them as being about the size of a real ham, and mine is the size of a canned ham. Then today (11 February, 2012) I was reading old entries in Pam Erny's blog and learned that hams are supposed to be much larger, and she gave a link to an on-line shop where one can have professional-size hams made to order.
The Spriggan Experiment
If I recall correctly, The Spriggan Mirror by Lawrence Watt-Evans doesn't even discuss clothing, let along sewing methods — but it's a nifty novel all the same, and you don't often get to read a first draft while the author is still working on it.
The Sprigan Experiment worked, the book was published, and now you can read Realms of Light and The Final Calling while they are in progress.
A sample of another novel that gave an advance peek: Harald by David Friedman, published by Baen Books.
http://pattern-design-guides.deofsf.com/Intro/HomePage.html If you are an advanced student, you can learn quite a lot by reading the overview.