I know, there are memorials all over the blogsphere today, but what kind of a sewing blogger would I be if I didn't acknowledge the huge influence Nancy Zieman was?
In the days before internet, her Saturday afternoon PBS show inspired me and taught me shortcuts.
Pivot and slide rocks. I may not always agree with exactly how it was taught (dividing the necessary addition by the number of edges...um, if I need more in front, that doesn't quite work.) but the strategy of sliding and swinging those pattern pieces made so much more sense to me than cutting things apart.
That one-piece collar that Louise Cutting has made famous in her patterns? I saw it on Sewing with Nancy years ago. Not to say who was doing it first...but, before internet, Nancy showed it to me.
A couple of the oldest books in my sewing library were authored by Nancy. I have her pants pattern and pants fitting book; I made, I think, two wonderful pairs of pants that fit from it but have not done the start-from-scratch that would be necessary to refit the pattern since the big M gave me a big Middle. But I know I *could* do it.
I recorded-as-I watched most of the shows back in the late 80's and early 90's, until she moved more into quilting and such, which wasn't my area of interest. Of course, I still have those in a box somewhere but they're unwatchable as our ancient VHS player can't be trusted not to eat video tape anymore.
Nancy's Notions was a go-to source for things I couldn't buy locally. Again, before the internet, that was amazing.
I still use the exam room table paper to trace patterns. I think I'm on the last roll I purchased some time ago. I wish I had started tracing patterns earlier. Not because the patterns were expensive, but because...they went away. The Big 4 retire patterns before they hit their stride, I think. Even a pattern that I paid $1 is priceless if I can't replace it. Thank you, Nancy, for teaching me how to trace patterns so I can fit them without spoiling them.
Nancy was a steady, dependable source of information and encouragement, as well as an amazing example of courage. Her messages to the public during her illness were ever positive, even the last one that related the fact that the cancer could not be treated and she was stepping out of the public to spend her last days with her family was not sad in tone.
She was an amazing woman and the sewing community will miss her.