As a trained costumier, I always make my own patterns; a basic block and sleeve block which are then adapted for the desired garment are absolutely essential to achieve any decent level of fit.
Halfway to Surrey at the weekend, driving a van full of what I thought was everything I could possibly need, I was horrified to realise that the block instructions I have relied on heavily since my student days were still at home.
Fortunately, Burda has instructions for both a basic bodice block and a sleeve block available to download and use. These are not for beginners, but for anyone wishing to move on from commercial patterns, they are well worth persevering with. You must choose whether to follow the metric or imperial measurements (annoyingly in tenths of an inch), and do everything they say accurately.
Further updates on success to come after the fitting.