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  • Writer's pictureMingMakes

Sienna Maker Jacket

This jacket by Closet Core Patterns was on my to-sew list (admittedly with hundreds of other patterns) and I happened to come across a post advertising a course with Lynda Maynard to sew this up. You can read my review of the class itself here.

It was a big leap in complexity compared to anything I’d sewn to date. By this point I had sewn probably less than 20 garments, several of which were part of my journey in learning to sew from Tilly Walnes’ books Love At First Stitch and Stretch! I knew this course and project would be very advanced for me, but I was prepared to be the newbie of the group.

I signed up to the course to push myself and learn quickly. Since I can’t dedicate a lot of time to sewing I want to learn from experienced teachers early on, not on my 5th jacket. I was totally up for the challenge and there were many firsts on this project for me.



Cutting out

Seam allowances




Seam finishes

Belt and loop





Things I would change next time



My measurements matched size 4 closely but this was too tight so I ended up cutting size 6 and made some adjustments, mostly for the gaping front neckline. I also lengthened the jacket by 4cm.

Since time was a little tight before starting the course, I didn’t make as many adjustments as I normally would. I detailed all my adjustments and toiles in this separate fitting post, including further changes I would make next time, and sleeve and collar adjustments I made during the construction process.


I had some upholstery fabric that I was planning to use for this project but as the course unfolded, I thought it might be a bit too thick and I didn’t want to make things more difficult than needed on my first jacket. I ordered the 12oz (410gsm) organic sanded twill in ecru from Merchant & Mills instead.

I don’t have any experience in ordering fabric that is this heavyweight, so it was a relief when it arrived that it seemed just right for my project. I went for a neural cream shade as shopping online can be a bit tricky to gauge colour, and I didn’t have time to get a sample. It has a beautiful soft brushed finish on the right side.

I put it through two cycles of washing at 40 degrees and tumble drying hot, and it survived perfectly well. I pretty much wash all my fabrics like this so it can go in the wash with everything else.

Cutting out

When cutting the fabric out I folded it with the selvedges together and was about to cut into it when I couldn’t ignore what seemed like a slant in the cross grain lines on the wrong side. When I looked closer, I could see the cross grain more clearly and when trying to fold the fabric perpendicular to this, realised it was quite far off. I decided to go with it and cut my pieces at what seemed like a bizarre angle to the selvedge.

Once I’d cut everything out, I had used about 0.5m less than the recommended length needed with some single layer cutting.

Seam allowances

The pattern’s seam allowances are 1.5cm or ⅝” unless specified, so they do vary depending on which seam it is, some being 1cm or ⅜”. Lynda recommends making all seam allowances 1.5cm to make it easier to remember and to handle the fabric. Thankfully she had put together a video describing all the places where this was needed.


By this point I hadn’t used many different types of interfacing, just light or medium fusible. I went onto the Vilene website and picked H140 for this project since it was described as “For the fusing of front parts on coats and longer jackets and small parts susceptible to distortion. Suitable for light- to mediumweight fabrics.”

Lynda is keen on sew-in interfacing and favours silk organza, but it wasn’t something I was familiar with and I didn’t have enough time to research this before starting the course. To reduce bulk, I trimmed the seam allowance off the interfacing, using red Saral transfer paper and a Clover double tracing wheel to mark it.

Photo 1 shows two layers of interfacing with two layers of transfer paper between, ink side towards the interfacing.

Photo 2 shows the interfacing layers lined up, and using the double tracing wheel to mark the seam allowance at 1.5cm.

Photo 3 shows the marks created, ready to cut along this line to remove the seam allowance.

I have put together a separate blog post and video on how to use this paper and tracing wheel here.


I haven’t always stay stitched before on lighter weight fabrics, thinking I may be stretching the fabric in the process, and just trying to handle the pieces delicately. However I did on this as the stability of this fabric meant minimal distortion during the staystitching, and I knew that I’d be handling this heavier fabric a lot particularly around the neckline when attaching the collar pieces.