Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Nancy Zieman's Sewing A-Z; D&C Publishing


Whether you're a novice sewer or a skilled seamstress, who better to go to for sewing answers and advice than expert Nancy Zieman? Set aside your sewing fears and let Nancy guide you step-by-step through 100+ basic to advanced sewing methods and techniques.

This book is an amazing reference guide that you don't want to pass up on. It is arranged in alphabetical order, so it's easy to flip to the letter of what you're looking for an find it. This is must-have guide that will definitely be sitting beside your sewing machine!!

I love that the book has a spiral binding, which makes it easy to lay it flat while working! It makes it easy to tell what you need to do when you're cutting, pressing, or sewing. I have another book by Nancy and she really knows what she's talking about with sewing. This sewing guide isn't any different.

I am in between when it comes to being a seamstress. Although I'm not a beginner, I'm also not an advanced expert. There are things that I haven't quite learned yet when it comes to sewing, so anything I add to my list of know-how is amazing.

I love that she takes it step-by-step, so that it makes it easier to follow the directions written in the book. It always makes it easy when there are illustrations or pictures present to guide me along my way.


She has some techniques down in this book that I hadn't even heard of; such as anchor cloth. It prevents the fabric from drawing itself inside the machine while you're sewing. It also helps heavy-weighted fabric flow more freely into the machine (we've all had that stuck in a rut part where we think we might have to re-do the entire project)! The anchor cloth is a brilliant idea!!


Not only does she tell you how to properly satin stich applique to a sewing piece, but she also shows you how to properly place, trace, cut, and press fusible-web so that your appliqued piece is nothing short of amazing! I love that it shows which direction certain shapes should be appliqued so that at the end it looks like quality work and doesn't mess up the entire piece you've been working on. She also describes the difference between press cloth and sheet when it comes to fusible webs.


I was very fascinated with how detailed the illustrations were. It's like they aren't illustrations at all, but very colorful pictures (in a cartoon like mode). There is writing on the illustrations to further guide me as I work my way through the guide.

Whether you like to hand stitch or machine stitch, each stitching technique is mirrored on each side of the page to show you how to go about doing both. The first page will have the directions on how to properly hand-stitch (for example a blanket stitch) and then the next page will show how to do it with a machine. You might have to take a closer look at your machine to make sure it has the stitching that it shows. My machine doesn’t have a blanket stitch, so of course, I'd have to do it by hand if I wanted it done.

No matter what type of sewing you like to do- whether you like making and designing your own clothes, sewing purses and small items, or you like quilting-- there is something in here to help you along your way with all of it. There's so much to learn and this book is a godsend reference even to those who consider themselves sewing experts!

I've been trying to make doll clothes for the last couple of months (for my best friends daughter's American Girl Dolls), but the sleeves would never look as great as I thought they were supposed to. I'd end up having to rip the seams and start again, only to find out they bunched up again. This A-Z sewing guide shows not 1 but 3 ways to properly achieve adding sleeves to a shirt without problems. That makes it easy to try all 3 and then pick which version I like best! The sleeves on the doll clothes ended up going on without a problem! Thanks a TON Nancy!

Another thing I always had issues with is elastic. Not inserting it or adding it to a piece but rather WHICH type of elastic is best for which project. Nancy breaks down each type of elastic (even shows illustrations of each type) and then what each one goes with. (For example: Braided elastic is best for casings and swimwear.)

There is also a way to properly organize your fabric, needles, projects, patterns, and fusible web/interfacing/batting and she tells us how. This is so we can properly locate what we need before beginning our projects. Who wants to spend most of the time we have for sewing running around looking for something when we should have had it before beginning?


I've always wanted to make my kids quilts that they could keep long after I'm gone, but I never quite comprehended all the quilting techniques.. Until now. I love how well she describes how to properly make half-square & quarter-square triangles as well as the different quilting techniques (stitch in a ditch, echo quilting, grid line stitching). I totally get it now and am starting my first quilt! YAY!

Now I don't feel lost when I look at a quilting pattern and it tells me to do a certain type of stitch or make a certain type of square. I am totally in love with this book.

There is absolutely no reason to be afraid to tackle those techniques that you've had problems with in the past. Now you can officially get them on your done list and if you ever need help, just flip to that part of the book.

Whether you like to sew, want to start, or know someone who does-- this book is an absolute treasure!

Belt Loops
Binding (quilting)
Blanket Stitching
Blind Hemming
Chain Stitch (quilting)
Cutting, Patterns

and so much more!


BUY IT: You can buy the Nancy Zieman’s Sewing A-Z Reference book for 19.47



Jessica Renee


This post was written by:

Jess is the creator of Stylish Southern Mama + Southern Rambles. She is a freelance writer + designer, Social Media Marketer, and Journalist. She has 2 amazing kids, Aidan and Adisyn, and has been with their dad Adam for 12 years, and has 2 amazingly adorable dogs; Harley + Cheyanne! :)

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