Patterns that come straight out of the package may fit you the way you would like, but more often than not, a little tweaking can turn a generic fit into a great fit. I'm not talking about the super close form fit that you see on television or in movies, though you could do that if you wanted to. I'm really talking about altering patterns to most flatter your figure. For instance, the vest I finished yesterday, the main reason it didn't fit well enough is that I have a large bust. To accomodate the bust, often means my waistline is swimming in the generic patterns. One of the main reasons I make my own clothes is because I often experience the same problem with off the rack clothing. The size that fits my waist causes gapping or puckering in the bust or the size that fits my bust is too voluminous in the waist creating the oh so attractive block shape.
There are two books I highly recommend. First is this one by Palmer and Alto. It's filled with great drawings and pictures, and I find them easy to read and understand. Don't let the outdated clothing styles on the cover put you off! There are two companion books called "Pants for Real People" and "Jackets for Real People" - also great. But for general fitting of all garments, this book is a winner.
The other book is this one by Nancy Zieman. I know, you're probably thinking these books must offer duplicate information... Well some of it is the same, however there is plenty in here that is unique. Nancy has several easier to accomplish techniques that work really well for small alterations and her explanations of the process offer more insight and understanding of what it takes to alter patterns. Her confidence makes me feel confident!