I used this book, which I highly recommend. This is the second project I've made out of this book, and the directions are great. There are a wide variety of projects in here too.
I'm working up my nerve to sew the party dress in this book (out of black cotton satin) for an upcoming wedding. I'm pretty sure that the pattern and directions will be clear, judging by the other projects I've made. I've never made a "nice" dress, so I'm just going to have to get my scissors out and go for it.