Thursday, August 18, 2011

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.

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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.

69 comments:

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

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  2. 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!

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  3. 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.

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

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  5. First I must say I CANNOT believe you let Nancy walk past without getting a picture with her. You must'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'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.

    This looks like a must have book for sure for anyone that sews or wants to. It looks like it is wonderfully organized from what I've seen so far. Great review. Thank you.

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  6. So far the best review on this book, and I must say I'm left with a feeling I must own this book.

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  7. Wow, what a neat book. I can'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.

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

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

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  10. 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)

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

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  12. 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's. The internet is good for motivation but you can't beat a good book by your side to guide you in the right way.

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

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

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  15. 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!

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

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  17. I don't think I want this book, I think I need this book! Thanks for sharing!

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  18. i like the fact that it's a spiral binding...a well organised reference book

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  19. Wow that'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'm a beginner sewer and had to look at tutorials online to learn how to finish stitching with a knot.

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

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  21. I can't imagine how much wonderful knowledge is going to be in the new book! It looks like a must have!

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

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

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  24. 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.

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  25. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the review.

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  26. 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!

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  27. 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!

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

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  29. 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!
    sunshdws at yahoo dot com

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

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  31. That is great to know that there's a book like this out there. I'll have to go check it out!

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

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

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  34. What a very lovely blog you have. I've never visited before. I just LOVE Nancy and have been a fan for years. I can't wait to get my hands on one of her newest books. Thanks for the review.
    ~a

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  35. 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.

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  36. Great review of the book. Thanks for sharing.

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  37. I'm adding this book to my wishlist. It will probably be the one I refer to most. Thanks for offering the book.

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  38. Great review. I'm glad it brought me to your blog, too. I was struck by your photographs- they're beautiful.

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  39. Thanks for the review--I've been waiting for this one to come out since Amazon listed it for pre-orders!

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  40. I love following your blog. You are so lucky to review for Nancy'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.
    Great review and thanks
    Cindy

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

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  42. Great review - I'd love to win the book. I love the binding - awesome that it will lay flat. :)

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  43. I love that it lays flat. I'm alwAys having to find something to lay over the top of books to hold them down.

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  44. I have several of nancy's books and they are so well-written! Would be fun to win this one!

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

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  46. 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.

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  47. Just happened upon your blog for the first time & enjoyed the book review. Just started sewing and admiring quilts (haven't tried 1 yet).
    Have like Nancy's weekend sewing show on PBS & this book looks like a lot of information needed for sewing in 1 place.

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  48. Great review, and wonderful pictures. Can't wait to see the book in person!

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  49. Need to get a copy of this book!

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  50. Great review, love all the hints and tips too.

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  51. This is an awesome book. I so want one.

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

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

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  54. I'd love to be entered for the book. I've enjoyed the blog hop!

    (Tried to leave a comment on her blog for the grand prize but you have to join facebook to do it. :( ....couldn't even email her to ask about it. Oh well.)

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

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  56. I'm enjoying the blog hop too.

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  57. 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

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

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  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  60. Nancy's knowledge of sewing is vast and she shares this with us, helping sewing enthusiast feel confident and creative.

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  61. Nice review! I do believe I need this book. :)

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  62. I have to agree, Nancy's written instructions are clear and easy enough for a "five year old" to understand.

    This book is a must have for my library as well.

    Thanks for participating in this Blog Giveaway.

    cgreenleaf2(at)gmail(dot)com

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  63. 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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