Making your own clothing is a really tricky but rewarding process. The upside is, you get custom clothing in the style and fabric you want and you'll never have to worry about turning up to a party in the same outfit as someone else. However, the down side is that it takes practice and patience so perhaps its worth waiting until you have a week off!
For those of you bold enough to give it a go, there are some fantastic websites out there that sell retro reproduction fabrics out of which you can make something truly unique. Reprodepot.com have a great selection of kitch fabrics in loads of styles. Prints range from cartoons to Japanese, floral to architectural so something to keep everyone happy.
My advice would be to a novice- start with something simple. An A-line skirt is a great place to start as the pattern is really easy to follow. After you feel comfortable with that, move on to a simply shaped dress, perhaps a shift? Whatever you do, don't start with anything too complicated, you'll just end up frustrated and disheartened.
As for the patterns themselves, you can get a simple A-line skirt pattern from any good haberdashery store- C&H Fabrics will stock them. When you feel comfortable moving onto a slightly more complex project, Amy Butler designs beautiful, yet simple clothes patterns which you can buy online.