Cricket and Seasaw that is a good advice. Cricket I'm envious of you and your Grandmother's skills. I'm hoping to learn a lot more and be able to convert patterns better. I started taking a course in Fashion Design from a local community college and the first quarter was all about drafting a shirt. I still have those directions and will lay that pattern on a bought pattern to try to adjust, it doesn't always work out well.
It's funny, when I took the course my machine was still in the box, and I had ZERO knowledge of sewing and didn't practice at all at home. The classes have since became too expensive or I would love to go back now that I know how my machine works.
Quilting is great for teaching patience, and confidence, since I eventually will make something pretty if I stick with it and follow (figure out) the pattern. I have an on-going affair with Mr. Clover (clover brand seam ripper) when in the past I would have just chucked the whole works in the trash.
btw I just made a fleece jacket for my hubby for his birthday and he says it is very nice! I had made the vest in a beginning sewing class about 2 years ago, and I made the version with sleeves last month. I did the exact same thing I did when making the vest -- forgot how much the fleece stretches and ended up with one side six inches longer on the zipper. Mr. Clover got hot and bothered again! I used wonder tape on it, and pinned heavily so it couldn't move much the second try.