One of my blogging friends has a daughter who is seriously interested in sewing, with a vintage flair. I thought that a list of books and websites would be useful.
Not updated with as many lessons as it was before she started sewing professionally, but her archives are useful, her blog roll is terrific, and she's got a lot of eye candy. (I check back several times a day for blog roll updates. I guess I could subscribe for myself, but where's the fun in that?)
She's specializing in knits these days, but she's very careful about fitting her patterns to most body types, and she's extremely pleasant reading.
Specializes in historical sewing, with historical accuracy. Does a lot of historical sew-alongs. Beautiful clothing, lovely attitude.
Specializes in patterns for the pear-shaped figure. Very cheery writer, cute patterns, clear explanations.
As I go along and see good instructions (or just instructions for something I've been wanting to try) I pin them to my sewing stuff pinboard. You'll have to sift through the other things there, but there's quite a list: http://pinterest.com/hearthrose/sewing-things/ Pinterest has a lot of tutorials, look around!
I picked up some good information from watching the Great British Sewing Bee on youtube. :)
Surf around - most of the blogroll stuff on most sewing blogs tend to be extremely safe viewing and you'll come upon gems.
Collette patterns have good clear instructions, fwiw. They don't fit me well, but the instructions are good.
Better Homes and Gardens Sewing Book: If you can find a vintage copy of this book at an estate sale or thrift store - snag it! I have two, very slightly different copies, and they're worth their weight. Really good instructions, very clear.
I have a few fitting books, none of which make me blindingly happy... but I think "Fast Fit" by Sandra Betzina is the best of the lot. I kind of suck at fitting. :p
Threads Sewing Guide is a good overall guide book. If you can't get a vintage Better Homes - or if you just want to add to your library, it's recommended. Lurvely pictures, it has.
I rather liked Gertie's Book for Better Sewing. Just frosting, not cake, but it's fun.
I *really* like Sewing Machine Classroom - I didn't think it would be all that helpful, since I know how to use a sewing machine, but I was very wrong. It's one of the more useful books in my collection. Put that with the Better Homes and get going.
Just start with a basic pattern and get going. Everyone will tell you to start with a skirt - there are good reasons. Make a simple skirt. Then a skirt with some new techniques. When you're comfortable with construction, move to a dress (and some fitting). I'll let you know when I'm ready to move to fitted pants.... rofl. Not yet!