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  • Writer's pictureMingMakes

Lynda Maynard’s RTW Sienna Maker Jacket class

I had heard some good things about Lynda Maynard’s online courses, in particular through Geri Berman, whose blog and Instagram account I subscribe to. I saw that one of the courses being offered was the Sienna Maker Jacket by Closet Core Patterns, which had been on my list of things to sew for some time, waiting for me to gather more experience. It seemed very advanced for me relative to my projects so far but I thought it was a great opportunity to learn. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Sienna Maker Jacket by Closet Core Patterns in Merchant & Mills 12oz organic cotton sanded twill in ecru on a mannequin

I initially felt a bit out of my depth, knowing that everyone else was much more experienced than me, but Lynda was great at including every student in the discussions and making sure everyone’s questions were answered. She also responded well in email if I had a query between classes. The general atmosphere of the classes was friendly and supportive, and I never felt like I was holding everyone up, or asking too basic a question.

This post is a review of the class, you can read my review of the jacket pattern itself here.

Collage of photos of Sienna Maker Jacket by Closet Core Patterns in Merchant & Mills 12oz organic cotton sanded twill in ecru on a young Asian female, with details of the belt fastened in D-rings, the Hong Kong binding on the back facing, and topstitching on the collar and back

Course preparation

It is recommended that you have fitted a toile before the course starts as it is structured around the construction of the jacket and not the fitting. Prior to the course, Lynda sent out an information pack about preparing fabric and notions, and some fitting advice. However, she did cover a full bust adjustment and rounded back adjustments in the first class as several people wanted advice on these. I put together a separate post on how I fit my jacket. The photo below shows the before and after shots of my neckline gaping.

Before and after views of front neckline gaping on a calico toile of the Sienna Maker Jacket

There are three views to the pattern. Views A and B are essentially the same but different lengths. View C is a different design so has slightly different construction. I decided on the longer view A, and Lynda covers the relevant steps for all views.

Line drawings of all three views of the Sienna Maker Jacket by Closet Core Patterns

Course structure

The course took place over eight weeks, and since they were held in the US at 10 am PST, I was still able to make the live classes at 6 pm UK time. Each week there was a 1.5 hour live Zoom call with Lynda and our class (around 12 of us), where we would catch up on everyone’s progress and any difficulties or questions they had. Lynda would then introduce the next stages of construction and play a YouTube instructional video she had made. We would usually watch three of these short videos in each class and there was plenty of time for questions.

Inside view of the Sienna Maker Jacket in ecru cotton sanded twill showing a label saying 'Contains Cat Hair', a twill hanging loop, the notched collar and Hong Kong binding in Liberty lawn

The videos are excellent. They were short, clear, concise and full of great hints and tips for getting a professional result. You get lifetime access to these videos and limited time access to the class recording. I have to say that Lynda’s attention to detail is superb, and I really enjoyed the high level of information she was passing on. There was so much more than what is included in the pattern instructions. Since I wasn’t that experienced, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and although all these techniques will be explained somewhere on the internet or in YouTube videos, I wouldn’t know to look up a better technique.

Close up view of the Sienna Maker Jacket in ecru organic cotton sanded twill showing the breast pocket with neat double row of topstitching and the belt opening

Overview of classes

Class 1 went through some basic fitting, interfacing, preparing the pattern with options for seam allowances, cutting and marking the fabric, and various seam finishes (all of which I’d heard of but never sewn). A lot was new to me, but it really pays to hear the advice of someone so experienced.

The Sienna Maker Jacket turned inside out to show the Hong Kong binding on the edge of the back facing and centre back seam

I liked how Lynda encouraged us to consider the construction of the entire project at the start e.g. thinking about moving the hip pockets since they are sewn into the side seam creating a lot of bulk, or planning the seam finishes especially if using flat felled seams so you can make sure you have enough seam allowance. I tend to just follow instructions from start to finish, but I can see the advantage of familiarising yourself with the whole process first so you can make changes before it’s too late.

Close up of the flat felled shoulder seam of the Sienna Maker Jacket in ecru cotton sanded twill

Class 2 was all about patch pockets. Lynda showed us three different types and how to line them. I loved these so much I wrote a separate blog post about them.

Inside view of the lined hip pocket of the Sienna Maker Jacket in Liberty lawn

Class 3 was about the smaller details such as the belt, and some basic tailoring techniques with sew-in interfacing. I ended up using fusible instead due to a lack of time and experience, but knowing I can go back to these videos at any time as I improve is a huge bonus.

Close up of the channel-stitched belt and D-ring of the Sienna Maker Jacket

Class 4 started to focus on the under collar and establishing the roll line. Since this was my first jacket and notched collar, I relied heavily on the videos. The advice here was very useful, and particularly if using sew-in interfacing and pad stitching.

Upper back view of the Sienna Maker Jacket with neat topstitching on the collar and back facing

Class 5 continued with the upper collar and facings, with some good advice on pressing. In fact I decided to buy the Milward Point Presser and Clapper after seeing Lynda use something similar for pressing corners.

Milward point presser and clapper

Class 6 moved onto the sleeves, hem and topstitching. There is a lot of topstitching on this jacket, so her advice on using a walking foot and other tips was helpful. She also shows how to neatly enclose the hem at the front of the jacket so you don't see the bulk of the seams.

Two rows of neat topstitching on the breast pocket of the Sienna Maker JAcket

Class 7 included instructions on how to draft and sew a lining to the jacket. Although I didn't line this jacket, I can see this being a valuable series of videos for projects in the future, another huge benefit of lifetime access.

Class 8 was the final session and student showcase, with a chance to see everyone's finished jackets or to whatever point they had got to.

Young Asian female wearing the Sienna Maker Jacket by Closet Core Patterns with one hand in her pocket smiling to the camera

I was running slightly behind on the classes having changed my mind about what fabric to use, but this wasn’t too much of an issue since I could watch the videos at my own pace. Most of the students did not manage to keep up with the progress either but I would recommend trying to keep pace as it makes the next class and videos more relevant. Only a few managed to finish their jackets by the end of the course (not me), but again this wasn’t an issue since you have access to the videos.


I would absolutely sign up to another of Lynda’s courses in the future. They are well structured, her videos explain things well in bite-sized chunks and the live classes provide an excellent opportunity for questions and discussions. In my case, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, so listening to other peoples’ questions was very helpful.

Young Asian female wearing the Sienna Maker Jacket by Closet Core Patterns in ecru cotton sanded twill, looking down while doing up the belt

It has also taught me the value of diving in at the deep end with these more advanced courses, where I have little or no experience in the construction involved. It has accelerated my learning enormously, and when I have limited time to dedicate to sewing, this is of huge benefit to me. The entire construction method of a jacket was new to me, and so this course acted as an in depth sewalong, with lots of hints and tips along the way for a precise and professional result.

Young Asian female in the Sienna Maker Jacket by Closet Core Patterns turning towards the camera and smiling

I knew that my first jacket wouldn’t be the best, but my aim for this course was to learn how to make a great jacket, and I know this will come with practice. Still, with Lynda’s guidance I was able to pull off a pretty decent first try. I know for certain that if I had tackled it by myself, it would have taken me so much longer and the result would have been more sloppy. Lynda’s attention to detail makes all the difference, and is the reason I would not hesitate to book another course with her.

You can read my review of the jacket and pattern here.

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I have no affiliations, I'm just a keen buyer and user. A UK supplier may be linked, please try to source items from your favourite independent stores.

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I'm Kay, and welcome to my blog where I share tales of my sewing journey, complete with mishaps, mistakes and solutions to help make your journey a smoother one.

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