Nancy Zieman has compiled her sewing knowledge from A – Z

Sewing A to Z

How many times have you used the old cliché, “She knows everything — from A to Z”? Well, Nancy Zieman really does know everything about sewing and she’s found a new way to categorize and simplify sewing tasks. You’ll find tons of tips and explanations in Nancy Zieman’s Sewing A to Z – a hard-cover, spiral bound 144-page tome.

In full disclosure, Nancy Zieman taught me how to sew via the PBS television show Sewing with Nancy. Really. I learned to sew from watching Nancy so I’m a huge fan and today I’m blessed to call her a friend. But that doesn’t mean I’m not still ‘awed’ by her method of teaching.

Years ago I struggled with quilt bindings then Nancy taught me how to bind a quilt. You’ll find the same easy steps on page 20. The illustrations are flawless, every step is clearly defined and if you follow them, you’ll have a binding that would pass the highly critical white-glove test. Don’t know about the white glove test? Good for you, carry on and get your binding sewn.

Another one of my favorite sections of the book is Knits. I love to wear knits, I could live in them, oh wait, I already do! Anyway, Nancy’s tips on knits are great reminders of how to select the right knit for the pattern. She reminds us that there’s a stretch guide on the back of patterns and how to use it. Then she explains how to sew the stretchy seams on both a sewing machine and serger. These tips will come in quite handy when I make a jacket from her new McCall’s pattern, 6408.

Nancy then goes on to identify common knit fabrics with names and images. This page is a great example of why Nancy Zieman is such a terrific teacher – it’s her vocabulary. Not that she speaks like a heady Ivy League grad, she knows the actual names of a zillion-types of fabric, notions and gizmos. Unlike me, who would gladly call all sewing tools, gizmos, such as the sharp gizmo, the pointy gizmo or the turning thingy. Oh no, not our Nancy. She’s had the formal training (a degree in Home Economics) and the lifelong search for more sewing knowledge. Thank heavens she’s shared all of that with us. Otherwise, I’d still be calling knits, the ‘stretchy fabrics’.

Moving on through the pages, I was stopped dead in my track when I hit ‘Wrapped Corners’ on page 128. Creating perfect collars has eluded me for years. No longer! Ha! Apparently, I should have been following Nancy’s instructions to sew, grade, press, understitch and then sew again. So that’s how you do it!

Here’s my suggestion, keep Sewing A to Z with your pattern stash. When you’re creating a garment, refer to Sewing A to Z for easier, more successful techniques than you’ll find in any pattern. You might just fall in love with garment sewing all over again.

I have my copy and I just ordered two more for my twenty-something nieces (who will be eternally grateful in the future as soon as they wise up), now get yours.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Tell us what sewing step has been a challenge for you by posting a comment on my blog. You know, something like mitering corners, zippers, buttonholes, etc. You’ll have a chance to win a signed copy of Sewing A to Z because I am personally going to hand carry a copy to my meeting with Nancy on Monday and get her to sign it for you!

Bonus week of prizes!

Nancy Zieman has kindly put together a grand prize package of various materials, from books to templates, pin cushions and piping, for one lucky reader (worth $450). For a chance to win, leave a comment on Nancy’s blog post (August 16th), and a winner will be chosen at the end of the tour. The winner will be posted on Nancy’s blog on September 10th.

More fun! Nancy Zieman’s First Blog Tour

To showcase Nancy Zieman’s new book and companion TV series, you’ll be able to take a tour through the book via a Blog Tour. I am one of 19 bloggers discussing Nancy’s new book through September 9th. I encourage you to follow along and participate in the Book Tour. Check the schedule below to follow along!

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the question: If you could travel anywhere for a hands-on embroidery retreat, where would you go?

“On a weeklong cruise to nowhere! Just time to stitch, without having to cook, clean house, or make my bed! I really enjoyed our Stitching Sisters cruise to Mexico! I just wish for more days to stitch!” – Lucy Anderson

Congrats to Lucy Anderson! You are the lucky winner of the Perfect Placement Kit!

Don’t miss Eileen’s weekly blog!  Subscribe now.  It’s free!

Follow Us On Facebook

142 Comments on Nancy Zieman has compiled her sewing knowledge from A – Z

  1. Sharon Jeffes
    August 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm (9 years ago)

    Zippers are always a challenge! I just replaced one in a fleece jacket and the bottom hems did not match up because it had stretched–had to re-do it. Nancy always has good tips on a lot of sewing challenges.

  2. Diane Kunowski
    August 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm (9 years ago)

    Narrow hems! I have the attachment for rolled hems but it never comes out neatly.

  3. VickiT
    August 24, 2011 at 6:53 pm (9 years ago)

    Nancy’s book really looks like an extremely thorough and detailed book anyone would love owning.

    My biggest stumbling block of all is to get over the fear of failure which stops me from starting a new project at all. I am armed only with high school home ec class sewing knowledge and most of that I’ve forgotten since that was a LONG time ago. I am sure this book would be filled with the detailed instructions I haven’t got, or forgot since high school and maybe give me some courage to sew much more. I have a granddaughter I would love to make cute little dresses for but till now, this Grandma has only made her one dress. And yes, I gave it to her but it was not the best job in the world and while I did mess up the buttons on the shoulder as it was a reversible dress, I made it work. The pattern instructions weren’t very clear on how to do the buttons so maybe this book has the info I could have used to do it the right way.

    • eileen
      August 24, 2011 at 8:48 pm (9 years ago)

      Hang in there Vicki and keep stitching! We only get better by doing. Whenver I’m confronted with a large sewing project and hesitant to cut into the fabric, I tell myself, “It’s just fabric and thread, not muscle and bone.” That gives me the kick I need to get started.

    • Berenice
      August 25, 2011 at 11:59 pm (9 years ago)

      Grandma! It is not the final product, but the love that went into the effort. Dig in and go for IT!! I loved all the stuff my great gma and gma made for me as a child and as an adult looking at those items and seeing the slight imperfections I can only treasure those heirlooms even more (yes, my kids have worn a few of those projects). Kiddos never seem to see our boo boos, they are too busy looking at what they got from ‘Gramma’.

  4. Joyce Cloud
    August 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm (9 years ago)

    doing binding corners and finishing the binding has been the most of my challenges and I simply love watching Nancy’s videos

  5. BECKY
    August 24, 2011 at 7:10 pm (9 years ago)

    I love everything Nancy does. I’ve learned so much from her books and sewing programs through the years. I look forward to her blog.

  6. Robin (RsIslandCrafts)
    August 24, 2011 at 7:26 pm (9 years ago)

    I also learned to sew many things by watching Sewing with Nancy on PBS. Even my Husband enjoys watching her shows. We both learned some new ways to make purses by watching one of her series 🙂

    There aren’t to many things that scare me but I sure could use some hints and tips for button holes and zippers. I would like my finished items to look more finished and professional looking.

  7. ShannonW
    August 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm (9 years ago)

    I always have a hard time with terminology of dress making. And a french seem I have to look up every time.

  8. Maria
    August 24, 2011 at 7:48 pm (9 years ago)

    The terms are what always get to me. I haven’t done a zipper or buttons in years so more tips on that would be awesome.

  9. Linda
    August 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm (9 years ago)

    Its a toss up between invisible zippers and buttonholes in a stretchy knit.

  10. Carol Seavitt
    August 24, 2011 at 8:11 pm (9 years ago)

    I just started to make ’embroidery’ quilts and I have oh such a hard time with the mitered corners. I watched one of Nancy’s TV programs where she demonstrated an easy way to handle these; but then when I am sitting at my machine my mind is blank. The book looks like a great addition for any level of sewer. Go Nancy!

    • eileen
      August 24, 2011 at 8:50 pm (9 years ago)

      You’ll find great instructions on mitered corners under, you guessed it, M!

  11. Gloria
    August 24, 2011 at 8:28 pm (9 years ago)

    Knits scare me. I love to wear knits, but I’ve had some bad experiences sewing them. Maybe I’ll have to face my fears and try it again.

  12. kimberlee
    August 24, 2011 at 8:30 pm (9 years ago)

    Well, I would say binding is at the top of my challenges to conquer. And I don’t even know what you mean by “grade” in wrapped corners! 🙁

  13. Susan
    August 24, 2011 at 8:46 pm (9 years ago)


  14. Connie E.
    August 24, 2011 at 8:48 pm (9 years ago)

    I sooo need this book. I have been doing crafts and such forever. but when I try to make a garment, I am all thumbs….ripping out, redoing. I even tried to make a pillowcase dress for my granddaughters and I felt like they looked like rags. Wouldn’t let them wear them. So, guess I need ALL help. I am definately putting this on my wishlist.

  15. Jennessa
    August 24, 2011 at 9:04 pm (9 years ago)

    The step of “knowing when to stop” has been my biggest challenge! There should be a sensor on my machine that knows when I’m too tired and bleary eyed to be sewing. When the ratio of successful seams to ripped-out seams is going to become pathetic, it should just turn off and make me stop 🙂

  16. Sandy
    August 24, 2011 at 9:19 pm (9 years ago)

    I have used many of Nancy’s tips over the years and they are great

  17. Ana
    August 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm (9 years ago)

    Finishing tail end of bindings and sewing mitered corners are my downfall. Nancy makes it so easy!

  18. Wendy
    August 24, 2011 at 11:18 pm (9 years ago)

    I’ve always been challenged by cutting on the bias and the term with the nap – I’m pretty sure nap is not referring to what I should do when I get started stitching and can’t stop!

    Patterns always refer to on the bias but I’ve never found an easy to understand explanation of why that is important or better yet an illustration.

  19. Patricia Hersl
    August 24, 2011 at 11:28 pm (9 years ago)

    Accuracy has been my special challenge. It looks like everything is sewn right, yet pieces are off. Her small steps made me better!

  20. Tammie M
    August 24, 2011 at 11:58 pm (9 years ago)

    I would really like to master putting in a fly-front zipper. I have done it, but never completely happy with it.

    • Welcome
      July 16, 2016 at 2:49 pm (4 years ago)

      Is that really all there is to it because that’d be flnaebrgastibg.

  21. MaryBeth
    August 25, 2011 at 12:14 am (9 years ago)

    I’m challenged getting pants patterns to fit well. Especially in the crotch. Sure would love to win his book.

  22. Heather H
    August 25, 2011 at 12:29 am (9 years ago)

    I know this is silly, but I have a horrible time with zippers. I’d love to get better at it!

  23. Jennie
    August 25, 2011 at 12:33 am (9 years ago)

    I have always struggled to get a nice neat edge on bottom of stretch garment with twin needle. It always puckers and looks awful.
    Not sure if I can enter to win as I live in Australia

  24. Liana
    August 25, 2011 at 1:05 am (9 years ago)

    Fitting garments, especially for out-of-town folks. For example, what length elastic should I put in pants /pajamas bottoms for grandchildren when I cannot measure?

  25. Teresa pocketofsun
    August 25, 2011 at 1:21 am (9 years ago)

    Thank you for the review of Nancy’s book. I started self-teaching myself to sew this summer and came across Nancy’s PBS show a few weeks ago. I am happy that her blog book tour has introduced me to the variety of sewing/quilting blogs on the Internet as the articles are full of very helpful information. I do believe this book would do me very good!
    Since I have only sewing a total of 3 things thus far (my 7 y/o daughter a 2 piece outfit, my younger brother khaki shorts & button shirt and my daughter a school backpack (which I was told she is very proud of!), I would have to say that so far the most complicated thing I have run into is a narrow hem. I invested in an expensive sewing machine with the hopes all the bells & whistles would accommodate anything I will run across. I have learned if I do not cut completely accurately I could run into something which seems OK, like a 1/8″ difference in curvy (should be straight) cutting, well then trying to fold at seam and then another 1/4 inch rolled under. I do have a hem footing that fits the fold into the foot but I have run into very uneven hem lines/cuffs/etc.
    Other than that, everything has been a learning experience and I will continue to grow.
    Thanks for the chance to win a lot of fun goodies!

  26. Joyce Jensen
    August 25, 2011 at 1:31 am (9 years ago)

    I have trouble with bias edges when cutting pieces for quilt blocks. I use up my scraps and have a hard time getting the grain going the right way.

  27. karin
    August 25, 2011 at 1:53 am (9 years ago)

    I think my serger is still my biggest challenge – it has soooo many functions & different stitches, I’m just not really sure what to do with it all. I even have a couple of extra feet & I haven’t figured out what they’re for yet! And I keep reading about wrapping these corners, but have yet to understand that.

  28. Valerie
    August 25, 2011 at 2:20 am (9 years ago)

    I’ve always wanted to sew a perfectly mitered corner. I’m slowly getting the hang of it, but I need more practice! Thanks for the give away!

  29. Debbie Gallett
    August 25, 2011 at 2:31 am (9 years ago)

    My biggest problem is getting the 2 ends of the binding sewn together properly. I can never do it right. I’d love the book.

  30. Debbie St. Germain
    August 25, 2011 at 2:53 am (9 years ago)

    I love watching Nancy’s show, she really knows how to get me inspired to try new things.
    I could use help in a lot of things, lol, but I still can’t get my bindings straight, so mitered corners would be something I would love to learn to do properly.


  31. Allison C
    August 25, 2011 at 3:29 am (9 years ago)

    Can I say everything is a challenge? I’m basically teaching myself…which means I have a lot of mistakes. When I see my mom a couple times a year I might get a pointer or two, but really it has been about trial and error. I would love to win this as it sounds like a great reference book…which I could really use! I have no idea what mitering corners means…guess I have to look that up!

  32. Kari Kechter
    August 25, 2011 at 3:56 am (9 years ago)

    Not sure this counts, but fitting is what gets me. I’m quite tall (a little taller than Nancy – at least when I got to take a picture with her at a retreat), and not shaped ideally. I know what doesn’t fit right, but not how to correct it.

  33. Michelle H
    August 25, 2011 at 3:58 am (9 years ago)

    i have always been afraid to try to do a fly front zipper, it just looks so complicated! I have several of Nancy’s other books and they are great

  34. Annie
    August 25, 2011 at 5:19 am (9 years ago)

    I’ve sewn for people for years, yet zippers never seem to turn out looking professional. That and seam binding. Mine always looks like I just graduated from first grade. What is the trick?

    How FABULOUS you will have yours signed! This is the one I hope I win. I have a collection of autographed books, this one would be most used and probably my favorite. (I sold an autographed Richard Nixon book recently, but I’d NEVER sell a Nancy Zieman.)

  35. Jessica
    August 25, 2011 at 5:31 am (9 years ago)

    I would love to try mitered corners and this book just might get me to do it. I’d also like to become more comfortable putting in zippers.

  36. Beth T.
    August 25, 2011 at 5:55 am (9 years ago)

    Double-fold binding is a breeze for me, but single-fold binding is a bear.

  37. Nan B.
    August 25, 2011 at 6:05 am (9 years ago)

    I haven’t been sewing very long so I’m challenged by just about everything. Quilt bindings are what I’m working on improving right now. Just watched Nancy’s video with her method the other day but haven’t tried it yet… lots of other things I’d like to try too and she makes it so easy to understand!

  38. amy dame
    August 25, 2011 at 6:45 am (9 years ago)

    i’ve been sewing for a long time, and though it sounds kind of pretentious to say, there isn’t really a specific thing that i need help with! i’ve sewn so many different things over the years that i feel like i could pretty much sew anything if i’m motivated enough to do it.

    HOWEVER! i could definitely use some tips for perfect, tidy, crisp sewing! i’ve been sewing so long that i’ve gotten lazy, especially if it’s “just” a quick garment for me!

  39. Dawnica
    August 25, 2011 at 7:01 am (9 years ago)

    I am a complete novice. I need help in every thing. I really want to learn how to sew and teach my girls. I need to get this book and maybe we can learn together.

  40. Gill
    August 25, 2011 at 7:51 am (9 years ago)

    Zips are the bane of my life – they never look perfect

  41. Janice
    August 25, 2011 at 11:32 am (9 years ago)

    I’m a beginning quilter and need help with binding!!! I’ve heard a lot about this book and would love to win it – thanks for the chance!

  42. Mhairi
    August 25, 2011 at 11:59 am (9 years ago)

    I HATE!!! binding. I find it so hard to get right. I also find getting my points on my quilts just right very frustrating and I am a perfectionist so finishing projects takes forever as I am continually unsewing.

    • eileen
      August 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm (9 years ago)

      You should try Nancy’s Trace n Create Quilting templates by Clover then your points will match!

  43. Mimi
    August 25, 2011 at 12:33 pm (9 years ago)

    I would have to say that zippers cause me a lot of grief! They just never look ‘right’. Thanks!

  44. Anya
    August 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm (9 years ago)

    Zippers are always tough for me! Thanks for the chance!

  45. Dell
    August 25, 2011 at 1:03 pm (9 years ago)

    I find a have trouble sewing with very light fabric, like batiste. Even when all my settings are correct, my machine does not like to sew the tiny seams or edging without chewing it. I grabbed some tear away stabilizer, that seem to help. Anybody have other tricks.

  46. Dawn P
    August 25, 2011 at 1:19 pm (9 years ago)

    Such a great book. Zippers are the things that always give me trouble. Thanks!

  47. Hueisei
    August 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm (9 years ago)

    Sewing a zipper is consider as a tough job for me..

  48. SewLindaAnn
    August 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm (9 years ago)

    My biggest fear is having something look like I just made it and binding. I’m new to trying garment sewing (notice the trying part) I have purchased patterns, fabric and notions in anticipation of this huge event.

  49. SharRon in Texas
    August 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm (9 years ago)

    Quilt binding or for any project. I would like to be able to get it right the first time. Instead, I usually have to rip out and sew the ends back together several times before I get a nice smooth finsished binding. All help is appreciated. Thank God for women like you and Nancy who are so wiling to help promote sewing and embroidery.

  50. Jean B
    August 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm (9 years ago)

    Seems like I struggle just turning fabric under and topstitching it and getting it to lay flat… no ripples or pesky waves where top has slid from where I pressed it.

  51. Cindy W.
    August 25, 2011 at 2:22 pm (9 years ago)

    Bindings and zippers will give me a run for my money. Her book looks great. Thanks for a chance to win.

  52. LisaVH
    August 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm (9 years ago)

    Working with knits makes me very nervous. I don’t feel like I am ‘precise’ enough to handle anything other than cotton.

  53. CathyC in Alberta
    August 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm (9 years ago)

    Binding gives me a challenge occasionally plus miter corners. This book would come in handy I’m sure

  54. Kathy MacKie
    August 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm (9 years ago)

    It has to be zippers. I try to avoid them at all costs.

  55. Elizabeth McDonald
    August 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm (9 years ago)

    My biggest sewing problem is making an item of clothing that FITS me! The other thing I would love to learn is how to alter clothing.

  56. Jeanne
    August 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm (9 years ago)

    I have followed Nancy for a long time and have many of her other
    books. I would love to win this one also!

    • Carley
      July 16, 2016 at 1:34 pm (4 years ago)

      It’s great to read something that’s both enjoyable and provides prdmaatisgc solutions.

    • http://www./
      November 4, 2016 at 1:45 am (3 years ago)

      This really is astoundingly good timing – we had this very conversation just a few days ago, and you specifically mentioned wanting to find an opportunity like this.It’s such an honor and a gift to be your writing partner that I really should be thanking you. I love the way you write, and I’m thrilled to see you’ll be getting a chance at seeing your words set in ink as well as pixels.And, love…please feel free to thank me vigorously in person in 13 days. vigorously and repeatedly

      November 5, 2016 at 12:53 am (3 years ago)

      Another question popped out at me (thanks for answering my first one):You can’t make changes to a PDF (that I’m aware of) so how do you let the editor know about final changes? In a separate doc that has page number, line number, and word number listed?

    • http://www./
      December 14, 2016 at 10:20 pm (3 years ago)

      Fredrik Södergren skriver:En fråga, bör man inte använda sig av nofollow när man kanske länkar till en konkurrent i samma nisch utan ett ge länkkraft åt denna.Kan ju vara så att dem skrivit en bra artikel som man vill länka till men inte ge länkkraft.Right or wrong?

  57. Peach Rainbow
    August 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm (9 years ago)

    Necklines! It’s so difficult to get them neatly done 🙁
    I always had to get help from my mom!

  58. Heidi
    August 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm (9 years ago)

    I am a newb when it comes to sewing… my DVR is full of PBS programming, only now it has expanded from children’s program and Masterpiece Theater to include Nancy’s show and others on quilting. Thank goodness for these programs because they informative and don’t look down at me when I watch them. 🙂 Buttonholes have evaded me, I have two lovely shirts for my baby girl just waiting for buttons. I just can’t seem to get it right. Many thanks for such an enthusiastic sewing community and fir the chance to win!

  59. Cindy G.
    August 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm (9 years ago)

    I always struggle with getting patterns to fit properly. I just don’t know how to correctly alter a pattern to fit my shape.

  60. Gail Beam
    August 25, 2011 at 7:03 pm (9 years ago)

    Zippers are one of my biggest buggaboos! Especially the hidden zippers! Another is the mitered corners on baby blankets! Thank goodness my children are not too particular in this area! I would love to win Nancy’s book, as my hands on instruction was limited to my 8th grade sewing class and ummmmmmmm lets see, that was over 50 yrs ago!

  61. Barbara Cummings
    August 25, 2011 at 7:20 pm (9 years ago)

    How to miter a corner has ALWAYS been a struggle. Nancy has shown a quick and easy way to turn a corner. Thank you Nancy !! I would love to have a signed copy of her newest book. She’s one of my favorite sewers.

  62. Evangeline Duenow
    August 25, 2011 at 7:30 pm (9 years ago)

    I have 2 big problem areas. ZIPPERS oh my, the ends are always off, if the ends do match, I must not have sewn straight because the foot got stuck from material bunching up, so the zipper is crooked. I have read books, downloaded instructions to no avail. I have a dear friend who does the zippers for me, but would like to conquer this myself.
    2nd problem is getting items I sew to fit properly. I dream of a beautiful outfit, but when it is done usually ends in the trash because it looks so awful when tried on. Even a simple fleece vest can be a disaster.

  63. Barb Stickle
    August 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm (9 years ago)

    Garment sewing of any kind for myself. It never seems to fit or I am using the wrong fabric. Guess I need a lot of help in this area or just give up and do other kinds of sewing.

  64. Deb
    August 25, 2011 at 7:39 pm (9 years ago)

    I don’t do much putting in zippers, but I’d love to become an expert at mitered corners.

  65. Anne Marie Reilly
    August 25, 2011 at 7:43 pm (9 years ago)

    Zippers have always been a problem for me. I have a pattern for a handbag that I would love to make but that zipper is stopping me.

  66. Barbara
    August 25, 2011 at 7:49 pm (9 years ago)

    My biggest challenge is keeping everything straight — it seems like every project has at least one seam with a little “hitch” in it somewhere that keeps it from looking as good as it was meant to be.

    I’m excited about Nancy’s book — she makes everything about sewing easy to understand. If only she could make me more painstaking!

  67. Greta
    August 25, 2011 at 8:14 pm (9 years ago)

    My biggest challenge right now is sewing blankets, specifically getting a flannel side and a fleece side to lay flat and to fit together well without puckering, getting hills in them and looking great. Hmm, should be easier than zippers but not so much, lol


  68. Ruth Peterson
    August 25, 2011 at 8:40 pm (9 years ago)

    I love watching Nancy on PBS and in person at the Puyallup SewExpo, where I have taken her seminars whenever possible. I still struggle with zippers and button-holes, so try to make things without them! I have mastered binding enough to teach 2 friends recently how to bind their tablerunners. I make lots of baby quilts, so I guess I like flat things! I might tackle a garment after getting her book… love the fact that it is spiral bound! That’s awesome!

  69. Betsy
    August 25, 2011 at 8:49 pm (9 years ago)

    Stretchy fabrics! I would love to be able to alter t-shirt hems and necklines but they never look neat or lie flat. The same goes for quilting…getting the centers of pinwheels, for example, to lie flat.

  70. Susan
    August 25, 2011 at 9:45 pm (9 years ago)

    I have been watching, and reading, Nancy for years. I am self-taught in sewing so she’s been a vital resource. After some 12 years I still don’t feel like I understand how to put in a good zipper. One day, I would really like to be able to put in a jean’s variety zipper with a fly. I look at them and think how nice and tailored they look. That’s about as far as I get with it. I have used water soluble thread and tape for the zippers that I have installed and they help alot! I still feel like I’m missing some critical step. So, my first stop will be in the “Z”s!

  71. Linda Coleman
    August 25, 2011 at 10:34 pm (9 years ago)

    Buttonholes are my nightmare. I want somebody to show me how to do them without messing them up and how to line them up properly.

  72. Jackie
    August 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm (9 years ago)

    My worst nightmare is putting in a zipper….seems like it always fits weird and I have to redo it.

  73. Pat V.
    August 25, 2011 at 11:08 pm (9 years ago)

    I am still leery of zippers…

  74. Katrina H
    August 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm (9 years ago)

    I love Nancy’s book on pattern fitting. It really helped me make small adjustments to patterns I bought from the store. Lots of great tips and diagrams.

  75. Jodi Guerrero
    August 26, 2011 at 12:07 am (9 years ago)

    I have not mastered the art of sewing on the binding by machine. Of course I sew on the one side, fold it over and sew the other side down by hand. I know there is a secret to doing both by machine. Also, zippers. I sew it on but I’d feel more confident if I was sure of what I was doing.

    Thank you for the giveaway and a chance to win an autographed copy !!

  76. Cindy McCord
    August 26, 2011 at 12:17 am (9 years ago)

    Hi Eileen. My biggest challenge was fitting pants. I finally purchased Nancy’s “Pattern Fitting with Confidence” Book and DVD. She explains everything so detailed and I was able to figure out why my pants never fit correctly! I just love her and everything she does!! She is an awesome teacher!! Take care and stay cool…

  77. Janet K
    August 26, 2011 at 12:19 am (9 years ago)

    sewing curves – whether piecing for a quilt or sewing a sleeve into a garment, I just don’t feel like I know what I’m doing and frequently have to rip out and try again!

  78. Jean
    August 26, 2011 at 12:33 am (9 years ago)

    I am terrified of sewing clothes. As a quilter i have never put in a buttonhole or a zipper. eeek there’s fabric that stretches? 😉

  79. Marcia W.
    August 26, 2011 at 12:37 am (9 years ago)

    Challenges for me: mitering corners of quilts and sewing straight seams with give for knits, finishing edges by machine (hems, sleeves, etc.) Looking forward to receiving an autographed copy of Nancy Z’s book!

  80. Mary Haggenmaker
    August 26, 2011 at 12:42 am (9 years ago)

    My greatest trial is lining a jacket that originally does not have a lining. I have attempted to do this on both jackets I have made and jackets I have bought. A lining gets in there but it just doesn’t quite work. “Sewing With Nancy” is no longer being aired in my area so I have tried different approaches that I have found on the internet. Maybe someday…..

  81. Ann H.
    August 26, 2011 at 1:19 am (9 years ago)

    Pockets, patch pockets. I can never get the curves smooth and get both of them the exact same size.

  82. Linda
    August 26, 2011 at 1:20 am (9 years ago)

    I am intimidated by all of the “feet” that came with my new machine. I would also like to try some bobbin work, but don’t know quite where to start.

  83. Rhonda aka Quilter in The Gap
    August 26, 2011 at 1:40 am (9 years ago)

    My biggest challenge is getting over the fear of sewing clothing. I am a quilter and the idea of making a piece of clothing and tracing and following a pattern terrifies me. I don’t understand the terminology so I freeze.

  84. aeble (Tammy)
    August 26, 2011 at 1:51 am (9 years ago)

    A signed copy! :o) Nice.

    In answer to your question, two things really. . .
    1)what different sewing machine feet look like, what they do, and which ones are worth the investment; and
    2)how to not have my seam go a little bit crocked at the end of each piece that I sew. Drives me nuts, but at least I’m consistent!

  85. Suzanne Gross
    August 26, 2011 at 1:59 am (9 years ago)

    Every one has mentioned the problems I have: Bindings, zippers, fitting. Sometimes I say my real hobby is buying fabric. I think Nancy’s book would help work thru my stash!

  86. Mystica
    August 26, 2011 at 2:59 am (9 years ago)

    Mitred corners and bindings are my biggest problem. Also my hand quilting gets puckered at times! would love to get to this book.

  87. Lauren J
    August 26, 2011 at 5:13 am (9 years ago)

    I have problems with binding and corners. Need more practice and a lot more patience 🙂

  88. Tonia
    August 26, 2011 at 5:25 am (9 years ago)

    I have been trying to use vintage patterns and I often get lost in the terminology and converting it to modern materials and tools.

  89. Shirley R
    August 26, 2011 at 6:50 am (9 years ago)

    My biggest challenge is finding the right pattern and then using the correct pattern-altering techniques to make a pair of slacks that actually fit. Also I hate installing zippers. I too, avoid them at all costs! I watch Nancy every Saturday on PBS; everything stops on Saturday mornings when I am watching my “sewing show”!

  90. Cindy Yamane
    August 26, 2011 at 8:11 am (9 years ago)

    I am with you. I learned by watching Nancy many years ago. I still have much to learn.
    I would love to hem knits with a more professional look. Actually there are many skills that I would love a refresher on. Since my children have grown I don’t sew as many garments. I tend to piece quilts more these days. I do have some grandchildren to sew for now though.
    Thanks for the chance to win a signed copy

  91. Phyllis (label Lady)
    August 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm (9 years ago)

    I am a self taught sewer. With the help of Nancy’s shows I have accomplished a lot. Now her shows are no longer televised in my area, this leaves me without a way to see her tips and techniques that might help me. With the help of Nancy and Eileen I am learning the best tips and shortcut. Thank you ladies.

  92. Betty Smith
    August 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm (9 years ago)

    I don’t know when Sewing w/Nancy series began but I have watched and videoed all her programs for many years.(even while @ work) My 2nd sewing machine was a Pfaff because Nancy was doing all these great items and I must have the same machine!I have several of her booklets from the series and several of her instructional books. Nancy’s instructions are always clear. I’ve learned so much from Nancy and continue to return to her books for any problems I’m having.

  93. Jessie Agnew
    August 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm (9 years ago)

    Heck, I’m 20-something and I would be grateful for TWO eternities to get this book! I think my greatest sewing challenge has been pattern fitting. I have made enough strange-fitting clothes for a small (and very uncomfortable) army. Nancy’s “Pattern Fitting with Confidence” TV series was a big help, but I’m the kind of person who has to keep looking at the directions as I go on to each step. Or cut out the directions and tape them to my forehead! 😉

    • eileen
      August 30, 2011 at 9:31 pm (9 years ago)

      Ohh no Jessie – don’t tape them to forehead! Everything will come out in mirror image! Tape them to your machine. Love your ‘very uncomfortable small army’ comment. Keep stitching – it gets easier and rarely do you make the same mistake twice.

  94. Karen A
    August 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm (9 years ago)

    I guess pants fitting is probably my biggest challenge. I just have never taken the time to really learn to do them.

  95. LeAnne
    August 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm (9 years ago)

    I’m not a garment sewer, so everything is a challenge. The terminology is a complete mystery to me. Nancy’s book would really help because I’d love to make my own clothes instead of relying on store bought.

  96. Sallie
    August 26, 2011 at 11:00 pm (9 years ago)

    Alterations are my biggest problem. Thanks for the giveaway!

  97. melinda
    August 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm (9 years ago)

    As I am completely a beginner sewer/quilter, this book would be a great resource! Specifically binding. The hand sewing part. I would love to learn more in general though.

  98. Dale Fedor
    August 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm (9 years ago)

    I love all her hints. From Nancy’s 25 Favorite Sewing Techniques book I really found her techniques for elastic really helpful. Glad to hear that we can now see her shows on the computer as I too have lost her in my area.

  99. Kathe G
    August 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm (9 years ago)

    My biggest, almost paralyzing fear is starting – that first cut terrifies me like you wouldn’t believe. But once I can get over the fear of cutting then I can pretty much go onward. I love Nancy Z – she is so inspiring and so educational. I learn something almost every time I watch her show. Thanks for the giveaway.

  100. KrisP
    August 27, 2011 at 10:12 pm (9 years ago)

    I have difficulty matching plaids and other repeating patterns. I know it’s really in the layout and cutting but I never where to position my pattern pieces for set-in sleeves so that the plaid will match-up somewhat.

  101. Vicki ♥
    August 27, 2011 at 11:19 pm (9 years ago)

    The book looks great and your review was fabulous to read. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Nancys book. Hugs Vicki x

  102. Eileen
    August 28, 2011 at 1:21 am (9 years ago)

    Years ago I watched Sewing with Nancy every week (and I have the VHS tapes to prove it!) I learned so much from her. At that time I was sewing almost all of my families clothing(2 adults, 3 children). Her techniques made the clothing I sewed better than any ready-to-wear. I don’t sew as much clothing as I used to, but I still use her techniques often. Her book sounds fantastic!

  103. Donna G.
    August 28, 2011 at 3:52 am (9 years ago)

    I’ve learned so much from watching Sewing With Nancy, and all of Nancy’s fabulous books! Setting in sleeves smoothly was a real challenge until I saw Nancy’s technique of putting pressure on the fabric behind the presser foot to ease the fabric into shape. After trying that, no more gathers and tucks! Sleeves are no longer difficult.

  104. Kath
    August 28, 2011 at 10:19 pm (9 years ago)

    My new self challenge is to make beautiful buttonholes. It is one area where my skills sorely lack in perfection. I totally avoid creating them.

  105. Debra L
    August 29, 2011 at 4:15 am (9 years ago)

    Zippers are definately my kryptonite!

  106. Tam
    August 29, 2011 at 4:17 am (9 years ago)

    I find pants to be quite a challenge and struggle with making adjustments, zippers, and buttonholes.

  107. Clara Chandler
    August 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm (9 years ago)

    My sewing challenge–button placement with their corresponding buttonholes. Thanks for the opportunity to win Nancy’s new book. I’ll add it to the others in my library that she has authored.

  108. Becki Cullipher
    August 29, 2011 at 3:31 pm (9 years ago)

    My fear is trying to make pants! Not elastic but with a waistband. ARGGGG!!!

  109. Jane Anderson
    August 29, 2011 at 5:35 pm (9 years ago)

    I love watching Nancy and learning techniques from her show. My problem area is getting the sleeves in a blouse to fit correctly on my body. They always “pull” in the front. Nancy’s book would be a jewel.

  110. Judi
    August 29, 2011 at 8:17 pm (9 years ago)

    mitering corners!

  111. Maeve
    August 30, 2011 at 7:34 pm (9 years ago)

    I’d love to win the book OR the giveaway. Anyway, I think mitering corners has been a challenge, and learning how to make french seams properly too. Nancy knows all the tricks of the trade, and I so appreciate her sharing her knowledge with all of us.

    • Andi
      July 16, 2016 at 3:28 pm (4 years ago)

      A million thanks for posting this inaonmftior.

    • beste auto versicherungen
      November 3, 2016 at 4:39 am (3 years ago)

      Some people just have to be dicks, don’t they. If you don’t like Monona, leave. If you don’t like our crappy restaurants, leave. It’s pretty simple. And congratulations for knowing what ceviche is. You’re so amazingly awesome. Dicks.

    • http://www./
      November 15, 2016 at 7:43 pm (3 years ago)

      And while we get "important" news about WWE, the FCC and major media corporations are meeting behind closed doors to discuss the future of net neutrality. If google and youtube really cared about net neutrality their sites would be plastered with this information available to the general public. I hope you all enjoy the internet as it is as much as possible, because soon in america our internet is going to be more akin to China than what we experience today. If any of you give a shit, go to and see what you can do to help.

  112. Cheryl Greenleaf
    August 31, 2011 at 10:44 pm (9 years ago)

    My biggest challenge is cutting fabric from a sitting position (I’m in a wheelchair). I am a “want to be” quilter who needs both written instructions and clear visuals. Since my skill set is very limited, I need help with everything. It looks like Nancy’s “Sewing A to Z” book would be a huge help. I hope the pages are laminated otherwise I can see smudges and dog ears in their future.

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

  113. cindy
    September 1, 2011 at 1:36 am (9 years ago)

    25 years of sewing and my zippers still come out looking wonky. Sigh.

  114. ann hudson
    September 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm (9 years ago)

    Definitely zippers!! They always cause frustration so tend to avoid patterns that have them. Would love to win Nancy’s book.

  115. Vicki
    September 2, 2011 at 1:45 am (9 years ago)

    I have to say zippers, they just are down right scary.

  116. Rebecca Pitts
    September 9, 2011 at 4:10 pm (9 years ago)

    I love Nancy Zieman’s instructions and watch her show daily. I loved the series on the 25 techniques for the 25th anniversary. It is awesome! I also love everything she wears on her show. I wish at the end of the show she would tell us about her garments, what pattern she used and what fabric she used. Everything she wears is gorgeous. I have started making more of my clothes than buying them. I feel that sewing garments is making a big comeback and prefer making them. I think it would be great if she did a series on blue jeans for women over 40. I have tried about 4 different patterns now and have not found the perfect one yet. Thanks for all your sewing instructions, Nancy.. I just loved them.

    Rebecca Pitts

  117. clear pocket folders
    July 7, 2014 at 11:06 am (6 years ago)

    Hey very nice website!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds also…I am happy to find so many useful information here in the post, we need develop more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  118. custom poster printing
    July 17, 2014 at 1:02 am (6 years ago)

    I’m usually to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and hold checking for brand spanking new information.

  119. security
    February 20, 2016 at 12:01 am (4 years ago)

    Hi, thanks for speaking about the new Ubuntu release. IT is one of the best releases and i have it installed on my computer at home. the only issue is outdated ati driver.

  120. Jonnie
    July 16, 2016 at 3:07 pm (4 years ago)

    Reading this makes my desnoicis easier than taking candy from a baby.

  121. http://www./
    July 29, 2016 at 10:11 am (4 years ago)

    However, this option fronttheir business with you. Which means that if a particular state, or you have to. As a result of the fact that spring cleaning your teeth. Insulating your loft can youin some situations where you design a chart of the best options and choose a smaller, cheaper cars cost more than half of the BIPD, covers the unexpected, the accident, $15,000little difficult sometimes. If we are getting all the regulations before finalising your purchase. The only way for a credit repair service make sure that you ask for advice regarding usedyou need to move out of driving on duel carriageways, and in many styles and that is expensive and auto insurance that will take it and will also need to thecar like this and get a considerable amount of the market. If you are smart about obtaining Car Insurance Quotes Online for their prized possessions without number. And for no discountof sexy product but be aware of the medical charges for it (or not). It’s mandatory for all its insurers. No company or policy. If you want so you can lowerthen you may hear or otherwise valuable vehicles. Comprehensive coverage will protect you from high quality service in neighborhoods.

  122. http://www./
    December 30, 2016 at 6:42 am (3 years ago)

    I was really shocked at the rate of breast cancer throughout the female population. I knew the rate was high but I never realized how high. I don’t believe in mammograms because I think mammograms could possibly smash cancer cells and make a bad situation worse. I think women can find lumps with monthly self examination.

  123. http://www./
    December 30, 2016 at 7:44 am (3 years ago)

    Deadly accurate answer. You’ve hit the bullseye!

    September 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm (3 years ago)

    I have watched Nancy Zieman’s program for years and have many of her books.
    I enjoyed reading her book on her life. I would not miss any of her programs!!

    Thanks Nancy, Janet Robinson

  125. suba suba
    March 25, 2020 at 5:17 pm (1 week ago)

    M7ZS1m Really appreciate you sharing this blog.Really thank you! Really Great.


1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Nancy Zieman has compiled her sewing knowledge from A – Z

  1. […] Diary of a Quilter 20-Aug Amy’s Creative Side 22-Aug Quiltville 23-Aug Crap I’ve Made 24-Aug Eileen Roche’s blog 25-Aug I’m Just a Guy Who Quilts 26-Aug The Free Motion Quilting Project 27-Aug Sew Serendipity […]

Leave a reply to Debra L Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *