Sewing With Nancy Celebrates 30 Years!

SWN 30 image1 300x169 Sewing With Nancy Celebrates 30 Years!

2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the longest-running sewing show, Sewing With Nancy, starring Nancy Zieman. To celebrate this milestone, PBS filmed a two-part show in June that’s scheduled to uplink this November. The episode was filmed in front on a live studio audience and will feature flashbacks and special guests over the past 30 years.

Nancy Zieman was 26 when she began her business Nancy’s Notions. Shortly after a cable television producer approached her with the idea of a sewing show. In September 1982, 28-year-old Nancy filmed her first episode. The show was taped using one camera and took 13 hours to film. After 13 episodes, the show was cancelled. However,  Zieman decided to continue the show without her producer. She found a TV crew, contacted a cable network and began producing the show herself.

The show has involved quite drastically since its inception. Originally a one-woman production, Sewing With Nancy is now co-produced with Wisconsin Public TV and has a director, crew and multiple production assistants. The show today is now filmed in high definition so viewers can clearly see every detail of the sewing process. Nancy also utilizes Skype as a way for viewers to connect with the show’s guests. The show is also available online and through a “Sewing With Nancy” app on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Press Photo 1982 208x300 Sewing With Nancy Celebrates 30 Years! Nancy Zieman 2012 216x300 Sewing With Nancy Celebrates 30 Years!

(Nancy on set in 1982)                       (Nancy on set 2012)

Zieman admits that she’s one of the lucky ones, as sewing was her first love. And while starring in a TV show, running a business and taking care of a family seems like an overwhelming task, Nancy states, “I’m nothing out of the ordinary. I’m not the exception.” For those who desire to follow in her entrepreneurial footsteps, Nancy says: “Be dedicated. Be totally motivated. Don’t let ‘no’ stop you–you’ll get lots of ‘no’s,’ but don’t be intimidated by the first no.”

Nancy’s most important wish for the show is to influence her fans’ creativity and cultivate their latest ideas. In Nancy’s own words, her goal is “to educate and to inspire.” For more information on the show, visit

Check out some of the interesting tidbits about Nancy and the show:

1: The number of cameras used to videotape the first episode of Sewing With Nancy.

3: The number of Sewing With Nancy episodes filmed each month.

10: Nancy’s age when she first picked up a needle and thread.

13: The hours it too to tape the first show.

26: The number of episodes created each year.

26 & 45: The minutes and seconds each episode lasts.

30: The degree at which Nancy must sew when taping.

52: The number of books Nancy has written to date.

91: The percentage of all PBS markets in which the show appears.

806: The number of episodes to date.

1982: The year the first episode was filmed.

40,000: The number of visitors to per month.

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3 Responses to Sewing With Nancy Celebrates 30 Years!

  1. Marilyn oliver says:

    Congratulation Nancy.
    I have metNancya few times atTexas Round up.

    I started watching the show 30 years ago withmyMother who is now 101. Her memory is not too clear but when I turn onPBS she still says Sewing With Nancy. I have wonderful memories and now share myDVD’swith my granddaughters.I am 75. (I still watch some VHS. Which I have transferred onto DVD’s


  2. DonnaN says:

    I started watching Nancy in 1990 when my mother told me about her show. I had just ordered her book “Ten, Twenty, Thirty Minutes to Sew”, but I didn’t know it was by her till I got it. My mother started watching her because she noticed her facial paralysis and Nancy reminded her of me. I have Belz Palsy and mother thought we looked alike. Not! I literally ran into Nancy in Paducah. She was coming around a corner to her booth and I didn’t know it and ran into her. Very nice lady.

  3. Pauline Granstrom says:

    I started watching Nancy in 1987, about 6 months after we were re-assigned back to the States from England and I have been watching ever since. Nancy makes it all look so simple that it makes you want to try it yourself. In today’s world I record the episodes. If there is something I want to try I can now refer back to that episode. Nancy also has a great group of people in her Customer Service department. They all go above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you Nancy for all you do for us!

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