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.

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  • Reply
    Stray Stitches
    August 18, 2011 at 6:14 am

    Thanks for the book review. It looks like a great book to have.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Thanks for the review.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 7:17 am

    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!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 7:17 am

    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.

  • Reply
    ~The Bargain Babe
    August 18, 2011 at 7:48 am

    I like her show! Looks like a wonderful, informative book!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 8:34 am

    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

  • Reply
    N. Perez
    August 18, 2011 at 8:43 am

    So far the best review on this book, and I must say I&#39;m left with a feeling I must own this book.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 8:51 am

    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.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 9:14 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Funky Kim
    August 18, 2011 at 9:35 am

    I love reference books for when I have a question and need an answer now! Google is great, but books are better.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 10:04 am

    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)

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 10:24 am

    i just might have to go pick this one up… looks like a good book and i love the spiral binding.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 10:57 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Kim Walus
    August 18, 2011 at 11:05 am

    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!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 11:30 am

    This looks like a great book! I love to read book reviews before I buy it!

  • Reply
    Nancy Zieman
    August 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks for the nice comments on Sewing A to Z! It is so much fun to read what others like about the layout, content, and technique. You made my day!

  • Reply
    Heather A
    August 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    A beginner quilter like me could really benefit from a book like this!

  • Reply
    Quilter in the Gap
    August 18, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    I don&#39;t think I want this book, I think I need this book! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    i like the fact that it&#39;s a spiral binding…a well organised reference book

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Looks like a great book to own! Thanks for such a good review!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    I can&#39;t imagine how much wonderful knowledge is going to be in the new book! It looks like a must have!

  • Reply
    Jackie @ Fred-and-Cissy
    August 18, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Thanks for the review, and also the photos (one look at the table of contents and I decided I needed to have this book!)

  • Reply
    August 19, 2011 at 4:51 am

    Great review! Looks like a must-have book- love the spiral binding!!

  • Reply
    August 19, 2011 at 5:40 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Dizzy Peacock
    August 19, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the review.

  • Reply
    java diva
    August 19, 2011 at 8:22 am

    That is very helpful to know this book is worth buying bc I too like to look online for sewing info I need. Thank you!

  • Reply
    August 19, 2011 at 9:33 am

    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!

  • Reply
    August 19, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Great review, seems like a must have book. Thank you for sharing : )

  • Reply
    August 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    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

  • Reply
    Heather H
    August 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    The book looks like a great resource! Thanks for the review!

  • Reply
    August 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    That is great to know that there&#39;s a book like this out there. I&#39;ll have to go check it out!

  • Reply
    Marcia W.
    August 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    August 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm

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

  • Reply
    Annie of Blue Gables
    August 20, 2011 at 12:42 am

    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

  • Reply
    Robin (RsIslandCrafts)
    August 20, 2011 at 7:01 am

    I love when craft books have a spiral binding so they can lay flat. Makes a big difference when you want to keep the book next to you while you are working on a project.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Great review of the book. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I&#39;m adding this book to my wishlist. It will probably be the one I refer to most. Thanks for offering the book.

  • Reply
    Wobbly Bobbin
    August 20, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Great review. I&#39;m glad it brought me to your blog, too. I was struck by your photographs- they&#39;re beautiful.

  • Reply
    Shayla Sharp
    August 20, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Thanks for the review–I&#39;ve been waiting for this one to come out since Amazon listed it for pre-orders!

  • Reply
    Memaw and Papa
    August 21, 2011 at 10:26 am

    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

  • Reply
    August 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Thanks for your review. It sure sounds like something I need to have.

  • Reply
    August 22, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Great review – I&#39;d love to win the book. I love the binding – awesome that it will lay flat. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I love that it lays flat. I&#39;m alwAys having to find something to lay over the top of books to hold them down.

  • Reply
    August 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I have several of nancy&#39;s books and they are so well-written! Would be fun to win this one!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Laurie Parrack
    August 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    August 23, 2011 at 4:09 am

    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.

  • Reply
    August 23, 2011 at 5:47 am

    crossing to win !!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Great review, and wonderful pictures. Can&#39;t wait to see the book in person!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Need to get a copy of this book!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Great review, love all the hints and tips too.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 12:46 am

    This is an awesome book. I so want one.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Thanks for the review 🙂

  • Reply
    Kathy MacKie
    August 25, 2011 at 10:23 am

    There is something one can always learn right. would love to win this book.

  • Reply
    Peach Rainbow
    August 25, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Lovely book!

  • Reply
    Lisa Marie
    August 25, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    This book looks like a great reference for anyone who sews and/or quilts.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    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.)

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    This book looks like it would be such a help for me (self-taught sewist)! Thanks for the review!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I&#39;m enjoying the blog hop too.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    thanks for the review

  • Reply
    Vicki ♥
    August 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Nancy is a wealth of information and her new book looks absolutely fabulous 🙂 Thanks for the review and I too am enjoying the blog hop. Hugs Vicki x

  • Reply
    August 28, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Thanks for the great book review. That looks like a book I need.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Nancy&#39;s knowledge of sewing is vast and she shares this with us, helping sewing enthusiast feel confident and creative.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Nice review! I do believe I need this book. 🙂

  • Reply
    Cheryl Greenleaf
    August 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    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

  • Reply
    September 1, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks for the review

  • Reply
    Leena Salleh
    September 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    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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