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November 2017

Sewing Programme Host Dies

used sewing machineThe New York Times last week featured an obituary that caught Sewing4Everyone’s eye – the death of Nancy Zieman, star of Sewing With Nancy.

Born in Neenah in 1953, Nancy Lea Luedtke learned to sew as a child. She later majored in textiles and journalism (an interesting mix!) at the University of Wisconsin Stout, and her first job involved working for a fabric chain, Minnesota Fabrics. She met Richard Zieman there and married him in 1977.

In 1979, she began a mail order sewing supply business, Nancy. Notions. By 1982, its success led to a fabric store in Milwaukee asking her to host a sewing programme, which first ran on the Satellite Program Network.

As cable television was in its infancy, not many people watched – something Ms Zieman later said was a good thing as she wasn’t great in front of a camera. The series folded after about a dozen shows when the store decided it wasn’t profitable.

Ms Zieman decided to do something on her own, and Wisconsin Public Television started broadcasting Sewing With Nancy in 1982. The programme was popular and picked up by public television outlets across America and Canada.

Ms Zieman was able to reach a large audience of those who did sewing seriously and the more hobby-based fans trying it out on a used sewing machine.The NY Times described her style as “nothing flashy”, but “straightforward advice, delivered with geniality”.

All in all, some 910 episodes went out, the last one ‘I Sew for Fun, a show on team sewing with children aged five to nine that featured her granddaughters.

The sewing host also published numerous sewing books and made appearances at expos and other events, such as the Sewing Extravaganza in 1992 in Florida. There, attendees flocked to see Ms Zieman, who wore a turquoise and pink suit she’d made herself.

Apparently, she was also a “go-to interviewee” for reporters writing about the increased interest in sewing. Her explanation was that people want to feel creative and that sewing offered the opportunity to create, when often work doesn’t.

[And a used sewing machine is a great place to start, if you want to get creative yourself.]

Published in 2013, her autobiography (written with Marjorie J Russell) is called “Seams Unlikely: The Inspiring True Life Story of Nancy Zieman,”.

Nancy Zieman died on 14 November at her home in Beaver Dan, Wisconsin. She was 64.

Sewing4Everyone is THE place to find an amazing used sewing machine, a best sewing machine for leather, vintage sewing machines, and more. Check our shop to find a competitively-priced used sewing machine you will love.

Picture thanks to Wisconsin Public Television.

 

Winter Hobbies – heavy-duty sewing machine

Brother Industrial Sewing Machine

Brother Industrial Sewing Machine

Now that winter is definitely upon us, it’s time to put your vintage or heavy-duty sewing machine to good use.

Sewing is the perfect hobby for winter evenings and wet weekends. And if you are prepared enough, you can use your vintage or heavy-duty sewing machine to make home-made Christmas decorations and gifts at a fraction of the cost you would pay for ready-made products.

heavy-duty sewing machineWant a little black dress in time for all those Christmas parties? The little black dress is a staple in any woman’s wardrobe. You can pick the pattern that suits your figure, whether it’s for an A-line midi dress that skims the knees, a shift dress that works perfectly with a pair of boots, or something longer and more formal. The Fringe Association blog has rounded up some LBD patterns, from a slip dress to a gorgeous long version with a sexy slit to the thighs.

For decorating ideas, look no further than Sew News and this free template to create your own advent calendar. It’s a multi-dimensional wreath calendar, and you can decorate the wreath leaves with hand-embroidered numbers in little hoops that look like berries.

Or what about some beautiful advent calendar bunting? The Sewing Directory has this lovely tutorial pdf you can download to create a unique, home-made decoration. You can fill the bunting pockets with little treats that can be opened on the day, just like a traditional advent calendar.

Or why not try out linen placements for your Christmas table? The Sewing Directory’s ribbon and lace placements are suitable for beginners – why not try it out with your kids, for example – and they are great for experimenting with your machine’s buttonhole foot.

skirtSome people opt for a heavy-duty sewing machine from the start, the reasoning being that the machine will handle lighter AND heavier fabrics, so if you plan to do a lot of work with denim, for example, the heavy-duty sewing machine is your best bet. We really love these Allfreesewing’s ideas for what to do with old jeans, including this fantastic pattern that will transform a pair of worn-out jeans into a pretty skirt. Just the project for cold, dark nights!

As it is winter and cold, why not try out these scarves from Martha Stewart’s website? You take two pieces of fabric, one a wool material to keep you warm, pair it with cotton and voila! Simple and straightforward, and you can pick out the cottons that suit the individual person you are making the scarf for.

Have fun with your winter sewing projects!

Sewing4Everyone can offer you the perfect heavy-duty sewing machine. To see our selection, check out our shopDenim skirt image courtesy of imsewcheap.blogspot.com

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