We were saddened to learn of the passing of Nancy Zieman on November 14th. A McCall’s licensee for many years, Nancy was an icon in the home sewing world. We asked Kathy Wiktor, McCall’s director of retail and consumer promotion, to share something here about Nancy.
There are so many ways to describe Nancy Zieman: author, seamstress, entrepreneur, and TV personality. And in a more personal way: creative, professional, innovative, and one of the nicest people in our industry.
A little bit of history: Gail Hamilton, former vice president of marketing for McCall’s, first introduced Nancy to the McCall Pattern Company in 1989. Nancy was well known at the time for her Busy Woman’s Sewing Book, Nancy’s Notions, and Sewing with Nancy TV show. Nancy presented three designs using her sewing techniques from her book, and the rest is sewing history. Her McCall’s jacket design M4085 was an instant success.
Throughout the years Nancy had her pulse on what the sewing community needed, and she followed up her first success with a group of patterns entitled “Sewing With Nancy.” Recognizing that women were now working and raising kids, leaving little time for sewing, Nancy answered with the Ten, Twenty, Thirty Minutes To Sew pattern line, a big success for McCall’s and Nancy.
McCall’s was also proud to sponsor her PBS series “Sewing with Nancy,” where she brought sewing and the McCall’s brand to households across the nation.
I was part of the McCall team that worked alongside Nancy for many years, helping to bring her designs to life. She was a wonderful, talented lady and I am honored to have known her. Many of the original McCall’s employees who worked closely with Nancy have retired, but I reached out and asked two of them to share some of their thoughts about Nancy:
Nancy DiCocco, former senior vice president of marketing, merchandising and design: “Nancy Zieman deserves a huge thank you for promoting our industry, sewing, and the McCall Brand. Nancy was always professional, easy to work with, and her business reputation was impeccable. We should be proud to have worked with such a talented, creative person in our industry. She was a very special woman.”
Carl Lalumia, former McCall’s sportswear designer: “I had the pleasure and privilege of working with Nancy on her designs for many years. I am so thankful that she was able to share her craft with so many people. She was always inspiring and a joy to work with.”
And Carolyne Cafaro, McCall’s current senior vice president/creative director, had this to say about her: “Nancy was a consummate professional who had impeccable taste and who understood her customer well. She was a key member of the McCall Pattern Company family for many years, Nancy was always a pleasure to collaborate with and we will greatly miss her.”
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Do you have a favorite Nancy Zieman tip, book, notion or pattern? If so, please feel free to share it here in the comments.