Sewing A to Z with Nancy Zieman

I was recently given the opportunity to review a copy of Nancy Zieman’s new book, Sewing A to Z.  You will probably recognize Nancy from her show on PBS and her myriad of other work as one of the most famous sewing teachers in America. (I happened to pass Nancy one morning at Quilt Market and I felt very star struck – now I am kicking myself for not asking her to stop for a picture.) Nancy has been a recognizable sewing guru long before all this internet stuff.

Nancy’s new book is not a pattern book, but a book of sewing techniques, demonstrations, and information. The perfect sewing reference guide.   

There are over 100 topics and they are arranged alphabetically, making this book a great source for any sewing tips or questions, and easy to find help or explanation on any topic. Basically, it’s a Sewing/Quilting Encyclopedia.

Here is the table of contents (click on the picture to enlarge).  The techniques include both garment sewing as well as quilting basics. I am especially excited about the the garment topics because making clothes is still one of my biggest weaknesses in the sewing department. I am so glad to have this book as a ready reference.

Another great feature of this book is the spiral binding making it easy to search and lie open at the spot you need.

The diagrams included with every topic are excellent. They make Nancy’s descriptions so clear and easy to understand. A great confidence booster – especially in those areas where you don’t feel confident – like easing sleeves for me!

Finally the book is full of great tips and ideas for organizing, simplifying and improving all aspects of your sewing adventures. Reading it I learned so much about basics like: which needles to use when, the differences in knit fabrics and how to best store clothes patterns. Really great basics in a simple, easy to understand text.

I will be honest and tell you that I don’t buy a lot of sewing books – partly because I feel like I can find what I’m looking for online, etc. so I have to feel like it’s really worth my money to go out and purchase a book.  I was so impressed by Sewing A to Z and I whole-heartedly recommend buying this book!  It is so handy to have one go-to place for all my sewing questions. And the fact that it can lay flat next to my sewing machine while I work makes it perfect.  

I can’t recommend this book enough – especially if you are a beginning sewer. It contains invaluable information.  I also recommend it as a great gift for someone who is just getting their feet wet in the sewing world.

To sample the book yourself, visit Sew Mama Sew for a free download of section about Seams. Also, over the next few weeks, you can visit these blogs to see their reviews and thoughts on the book as well: 

Or you can check out Nancy herself sharing tips and techniques from Sewing A to Z in this online episode
And finally, stop by Nancy’s blog and leave a comment to enter her amazing giveaway (with a retail value of $450) of all kinds of sewing loot.  Good luck! And and now go forth and sew with new confidence, thanks to Nancy.


Full disclosure: I was provided a copy of Sewing A to Z by F+W Media. The thoughts and opinions in this post are entirely my own.


  1. says

    This does look like a great book! And, I like the little tips that are included (I never would have thought to label the pincushion to keep the needles sorted!). Might have to add this to my wish list!

  2. says

    Thanks for the review, I ordered a copy, since I like you am not really comfortable with sewing clothes. And since my children are starting to have grandchildren, I want to be able to sew more clothing.

  3. says

    First I must say I CANNOT believe you let Nancy walk past without getting a picture with her. You must&#39;ve been totally starstruck. LOL My husband and I drove to her store in WI a few years ago and I had wondered if we&#39;d be lucky enough to see her while we were there but nope, we never saw her. If she was there then she was hiding out in the back somewhere. <br /><br />This looks like a

  4. says

    Wow, what a neat book. I can&#39;t wait to get my hands on it. It i always great to have all these tips all in one handy place and a giveaway to boot is just super. Thanks for sharing.

  5. says

    This may sound funny but i&#39;m not much of a seamstress, though i&#39;m an avid quilter. It&#39;s slightly intimidating to even think about making some skirts for my two girls. This book would definitely help! Thanks for the review.

  6. says

    This definitely looks like a great resource to have in my back pocket. My Mom may not be happy though. . . my calls for sewing help may drop. :o)

  7. says

    I think this is a valuable tool for any sewer. Being self-taught with a little junior high school home ec, my old go-to book is my Singer sewing book from the 1970&#39;s. The internet is good for motivation but you can&#39;t beat a good book by your side to guide you in the right way.

  8. says

    Hi Amy! What a great book! I&#39;m definitely going to have to buy this book. It&#39;s been fun going to the previous blog tour posts and I look forward to the other ones too! Thanks for sharing!

  9. says

    Wow that&#39;s a lot of stuff to win. Thanks for the review! I could certainly use that book and may buy it for myself or ask for it for Christmas lol! I&#39;m a beginner sewer and had to look at tutorials online to learn how to finish stitching with a knot.

  10. says

    Absolutely thanks for the review. I have never tried sewing garments but I hope one day to attempt it and it is great to know that this book would help guide me.

  11. says

    I am doing the blog tour–This looks like a terrific book–I want one for myself–but will definetly get a copy or two for the beginner sewers I love!

  12. says

    With every new post I see about this book, I realize how welcome it would be in my home – if only to remind me of things I can and should be doing… and the things I want to learn. Thanks for the great review!<br />sunshdws at yahoo dot com

  13. says

    Thanks for the book review. I was disappointed when our local PBS dropped all it&#39;s quilting and sewing programs, including Nancy&#39;s which looked forward to each Tues.

  14. says

    Thanks for the book review – looks like a good &amp; handy reference book – one which would get lots of dog-eared pages!

  15. says

    What a very lovely blog you have. I&#39;ve never visited before. I just LOVE Nancy and have been a fan for years. I can&#39;t wait to get my hands on one of her newest books. Thanks for the review. <br />~a

  16. says

    I love following your blog. You are so lucky to review for Nancy&#39;s book. I have learned more about sewing from her than anyone these past 25 years. I really use what she has taught on her programs. This book sounds like the best reference ever. Most of us are self taught and love the suggestions from an expert like nancy. <br />Great review and thanks<br />Cindy

  17. says

    It&#39;s been a long time since I&#39;ve sewn garments. I&#39;m sure techniques have improved to be easier. This looks like a great reference book.

  18. says

    It looks like a wonderful book. I am very glad to see it is spiral bound and easy to keep open while doing projects. I love Nancy she taught me a lot about sewing over the years.

  19. says

    Just happened upon your blog for the first time &amp; enjoyed the book review. Just started sewing and admiring quilts (haven&#39;t tried 1 yet).<br />Have like Nancy&#39;s weekend sewing show on PBS &amp; this book looks like a lot of information needed for sewing in 1 place.

  20. says

    I&#39;d love to be entered for the book. I&#39;ve enjoyed the blog hop! <br /><br />(Tried to leave a comment on her blog for the grand prize but you have to join facebook to do it. :( ….couldn&#39;t even email her to ask about it. Oh well.)

  21. says

    I have to agree, Nancy&#39;s written instructions are clear and easy enough for a &quot;five year old&quot; to understand.<br /><br />This book is a must have for my library as well.<br /><br />Thanks for participating in this Blog Giveaway.<br /><br />cgreenleaf2(at)gmail(dot)com

  22. says

    It is interesting to know the many kinds of knits and weave of fabrics… as i grow up, my mom being a seamstress…i only thought those are the only kinds I would look for….and yet there are many others that I have not encountered and this section is really helpful to help me identify the types…thanks for the great info.

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