Seams Unlikely Book Review

Psst- want to see what’s been on my nightstand?


It’s Nancy Zieman’s new autobiography, Seams Unlikely (affiliate link). 

Growing up, I remember occasionally watching Sewing With Nancy on TV. Though as far as I was concerned, my mom knew everything there was to know about sewing, so I wasn’t watching it to learn, I would sometimes find it while flipping through channels and it was fascinating to see someone on TV sewing. I grew up in an age when sewing, particularly sewing your own clothes, was not something anyone else I knew did, so the idea that there were enough people “out there” who sewed to merit a TV show was pretty cool.

Fast forward 20 years to discovering the blogosphere and being able to connect with so many others who sew through the magic of the internet. What a difference! But I was still intrigued by how much of Nancy Zieman’s autobiography I could still relate to as a woman starting my own sewing related business.


I am thrilled to be part of the Seams Unlikely blog tour today. (Disclaimer – I received a free advance copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.) I read the book cover to cover, finishing it while at Alt Summit, and I’m sure I annoyed my roommates with constant, “Hey, I just read…” and, “Wow, did you know…” type comments as I was reading.


The writing  is a lot like Nancy talks on her shows I’ve seen – it’s very matter of fact and reporter-ish, not writing that aims to put you in the narrator’s shoes to experience what they’re experiencing. And I’m sure I’m a little more critical of that as someone with an English degree and post-graduate work in creative writing. But the book drew me in despite that writing style. The further I got into the years when Nancy was starting her business, the more I found myself drawing comparisons between her experience of starting a business before the internet and my experience of starting one after. Yes, the internet can make it easier to find and reach your audience worldwide. But just like Nancy found before she had that tool, it is about providing value to your customers and nurturing relationships.

One of my favorite quotes from the book was this one, ” The term ‘sewist’ is relatively new, but it is one I wholeheartedly embrace…sewist elevates interest to the realm of skill.”  I could not agree more!

I was also fascinated by Nancy balancing motherhood with a demanding career, again because this is something I relate to. I admired her for admitting she could not do it all and singing the praises of Joan, who cared for her children during the day so she could work. For the record – my youngest son goes to preschool and my older one is in all day kindergarten. I, too, am not superwoman and could not do what I do if I was caring for them full time during the day. She also speaks candidly about her husband pitching in with home and work to help her succeed – something else I can relate to as I am blessed to have my own very supportive husband.

Would you like to win your own copy of Seams Unlikely? Comment on this post on Nancy Zieman’s blog to enter. Twenty copies of the book will be given away on February 18.

If you’d like to see more reviews of this book, you can check out the rest of the tour (also – I’m kind of in awe of a lot of the company I’m in).

February 4          Nancy Zieman 

February 5          Eileen Roche

February 5          Pat Sloan

February 6          Melissa Stramel

February 6          The Long Ladies

February 6          Tori Thompson

February 7          Amy Barickman

February 7          Melissa Mora

February 8          Shari Butler

February 8          Vicki Christensen

February 9          Carolina Moore

February 9          Kate Mclvor

February 10          Amy Ellis

February 10          Melissa Mortenson

February 11          Ilene Miller

February 11          Liz Hicks

February 11          Rachael Pannepacker

February 12          Bill Gardner

February 12          Elizabeth Evans

February 13          Amy Webb 

February 13          Lindsay Wilkes

February 14          Gertie Hirsch

February 14          Veronica Philips

February 15          Jenny Gabriel

February 15          Laura Wasilowski

February 16          Frieda Anderson

February 16          Rita Farro

February 17          Cindy Cloward

February 17          Joan Hawley

February 17          Patty Young

February 18          Nancy Zieman

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  1. says

    This book sounds fantastic and I know would be a wonderful read. I look forward to reading the blogs every morning. This would have a wealth of information.

  2. Kathryn Knox says

    Hi! Nancy is awesome and should be singing Helen Reddy’s I am Woman. But she is so sweet and giving. Thanks for this chance!

  3. Karen Lister says

    Nancy’s book, ‘Seams Unlikely’ sounds like great read. I enjoy watching Nancy whenever I can find her show on tv. Being a visual person, I enjoy reading my emails from ‘Melly Sews’ and following different links posted on your blog.

    Inspiration from you both encourages me to continue sewing what I know and to also venture out including the new. Thank you!!

  4. Ellen says

    I admire Nancy for going after something she loves and succeeding. I am getting back into sewing after 20 years and her website has really helped.

  5. Debbie Andrews says

    I already read Nancy’s description of her newest book and look forward to reading it soon. She has been a real life saver for me with her method of altering patterns.

    On another note, although I’ve never been a fan of Beavis & Butthead, I certainly remember those goofy giggles….(0;


  6. Mary B says

    I was lucky enough to visit Nancy Zieman’s store in Beaver Dam WI back in the days when everyone was making t-shirts. I used to live in WI but have since moved to TN. I used to watch her shows when time permitted and I look forward to reading her autobiography. I still get her catalogs. She is one intelligent sewist! Does that make sense?

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