I'll have to see if I can get a hold of that book, it sounds awesome!
Other than that, try starting with modification instead of complete drafting. Know that you need a poofy sleeve, but the only commercial pattern you can find has one that's too long? Cut it down! Need to add a collar to a jacket? Find something similar, but change that one detail!
With modification, if you screw up, you can usually still piece together what the original pattern was and re-start again from there if need-be. It's a good way to make semi-accurate patterns specific to multiple cosplays, and nail all those pesky details!
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