Behind the Scenes of Sewing With Nancy

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Behind the Scenes of Sewing With Nancy

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy ZiemanThursdays are often recording days for Sewing With Nancy. So when I was pondering a topic for today’s blog, I decided to show you what happens during a recording day.

The photos were taken during the Serger Workshop Series, the second episode is this week’s featured online Sewing With Nancy video. Pam Mahshie, Baby Lock Educational Ambassador, is my guest for this series.

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman Pam Mahshie

Pre-Planning

The topic was chosen after hearing many “serger confessions” where people sheepishly told me that they only use their serger to clean finish raveling edges. The solution—learn the basics with serger master, Pam.

Planning meetings, phone conferences, sewing samples, writing the script and a pre-taping day meeting are all part of every mini-series of the show. On the day of the recording my staff and I pack up my van and leave Beaver Dam at 7:00 a.m., and we drive to the studios of Wisconsin Public TV in Madison WI—a one-hour drive. The two people from the Sewing With Nancy staff that attend each taping are Donna, my right hand person in preparing for the show, and Pat, the editor of the Sewing With Nancy books.

Phase One: Pack, Unpack, and Organize

Producing a TV show may sound glamorous, but like most jobs, it’s work! We unload the machines, samples, and products into carts in the unloading dock.

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Donna and Pat set up the sewing machines and/or sergers. All of the samples are placed on tables in the sequence of my scripts. I often wonder just how many step-by-step samples we’ve generated since 1982?

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Make-up Anyone?

While Pat and Donna organize the samples, I head to the green room for a spin in the make-up chair. Vicki Fischer has been my make-up artist for almost 20 years. I think she has more make-up than I have fabric!

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

The Studio

The Sewing With Nancy set has four areas: the round table for openings/closings, the sewing machine/cabinet area, the demo table, and Nancy’s Corner—the interview area.

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

The three dressforms in the background are commonly referred to as the “back up singers.”

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Some of the walls, really aren’t walls. And not to mention, my “sewing room” doesn’t have a real ceiling.

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Ready on the set

We begin the day with the recording of the opening of the first show. It’s the only part of the show that I fully script with the copy appearing on the teleprompter. Truthfully, getting that first segment recorded is usually the most trying part of the day.

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Trivia: for my 25th anniversary show, I ordered a small bouquet of flowers for the table. It was such a treat to have fresh flowers that I made it my goal to either buy or pick a few sprigs from my garden to brighten up the set each time we tape. I picked these flowers at 6:00 in the morning. You’ll generally be able to tell what time of year we’re recording the show by the type of flowers on the table.

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Pam and I referred to this series as dueling sergers!

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Luckily at home I don’t have to deal with power and mic cords underfoot.

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

There are three camera operators and a floor director that join me in the studio.

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

In the control room Laurie Gorman, my director,  calls the shots with support staff, including lighting and audio engineers.

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Pat mans the teleprompter and makes sure that I follow the script. I’ve been known to deviate from my outline now and then, hmm.

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Dual purpose table

My demonstration table wasn’t part of the script for this series since all segments were featured at the serger—it was an atypical day. Generally I stand behind the slanted board table to demonstrate several steps. The slanted board has a higher option. We elevate it when close-up shots are needed. Called cutaways, samples or finished projects are placed in front of the board on a neutral fabric and a tight camera-shot is captured.

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Behind the scenes of Sewing With Nancy Zieman

The demo table also serves as a hiding place for lots of notions and amenities including tissues, almonds, and cough drops.

After seven or eight hours, two shows have been recorded and we head back to Beaver Dam. Whew, another set of shows in the proverbial can.

You’ve seen a small view of what the Sewing With Nancy classroom is really like. Unlike a typical classroom where there’s one person in control, my studio classroom is brought to you by a team. I may be the choir director, yet the group makes the music.

Was it what you thought it would be like?

Watch Serger Workshop online 

There are 52 programs to watch online, or on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone. Have you downloaded the app?

Follow Along with the Serger Workshop Workbook

Pam and I prepared a unique workbook of each of the steps that we demonstrated. The laminated sheets allow you to tape your samples to the pages with double-sided tape.

Serger Workshop Nancy Zieman and Pam Mahshie

Thanks for joining me, bye for now,

Content in this feed is © copyright 2013 by Nancy Zieman and may not be republished without written permission. You’re welcome to forward the email to a friend or colleague but it’s not okay to add the RSS feed automatically as content on a blog or other website.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

20 Comments

  • Mary
    May 23, 2013

    Thanks for the peek into your taping of Sewing with Nancy. I always enjoy reading your blog and keeping up with what you have to share with us.

  • Mary
    May 23, 2013

    Sorry for the second comment. It is what I thought it would be like, much work and many helping hands.

  • Jeri Westerhold
    May 23, 2013

    Just a note to tell you how much I have enjoyed your programs over the years. I have been watching Sewing with Nancy since you have been on the air. Thanks for all the information you have provided.

  • Donna F
    May 23, 2013

    I know that you have to make all the step by step samples for the show to demonstrate the differnt steps along the way. Does anyone ever go through and finish them all so that you have finished items at the end? I think if you finsihed them up and signed them, your fans would love to own them. You could auction them off to support your favorite charity.

  • Donna F
    May 23, 2013

    I guess its second post day! As I posted my first comment I noticed that the blog post said it was made at 2:30 AM! Seems someone else was up late last night. I was finishing a matched nightie set for my granddaughter and her doll for her birthday.

  • Jessi G
    May 23, 2013

    Nancy, I have watched your shows for many years along with those the other sewing shows. One thing (among many) have have admired has always been the wonderful photography, particularly the close ups. The viewer can really see the detail. On many of the other shows I have watched I couldn’t see the details and didn’t exactly understand what was being demonstrated which can be frustrating. Thank you for all the pleasure your show has brought into my life.

  • Jo Connolly
    May 23, 2013

    This is SO interesting! I’ve followed your career from the beginning. Your passion, creativity and gentle manner have inspired me for many years in my own sewing. I hope to be sitting with you at the round table one day. 🙂

  • Jo Connolly
    May 23, 2013

    This is SO interesting! I have followed your career from the beginning. Your passion, creativity and gentle manner have inspired mw in my own sewing for many years. I hope to be sitting with you at your round table one day. 🙂

  • bw kolk, Waupun
    May 23, 2013

    Very enjoyable blog,, again!!!!

    thnx 4 sharing w/ a long time fan.
    my only chg would be to make the blog an all in one, not needing to go to a second page after a paragraph of info.
    it can be a long, long wait to get that to settle and be readable,

    Great work young lady, continue to share , so pleasantly, the knowledge you have.
    bw,k,
    W wi.

  • Gladys
    May 23, 2013

    Thanks for the peek into your taping of Sewing with Nancy! I learn a lot today, and I like so much! Have a nice day!

  • susanb
    May 23, 2013

    Do you apps work on android phones and/or android tablets?

    thanks!

  • Marcia Joan Stringer
    May 23, 2013

    I’ve enjoyed your TV shows for years and once was able to attend a 2 day workshop in which you were a presenter. I always learn something even if a repeat. I record all your shows and save the ones that I know I will need at a future time.

    You are the best,

    Joani

  • Sharon J.
    May 23, 2013

    This was great watching “behnd the scenes” – it’s fascinating how you and your co-workers put it together. I so enjoy your show and have certainly learned alot from you in my many years of sewing. Thanks so much.

  • Mary H,
    May 24, 2013

    I had been a faithful follower for many years but now none of my PBS stations broadcast “Sewing with Nancy”. I live in the Washington, DC area. When they did broadcast them I recorded most all of your shows so that I could rewatch them until I made sure I didn’t miss something the first time around. I really miss you.

  • Marie
    May 24, 2013

    How far is the drive from Beaver Falls to the studio?

  • Diane Martenet
    May 25, 2013

    It may be a team, but you’re still the Queen! Nancy, I love watching your shows. I have made and mailed off so many of your volunteer projects such as the Pillowcase Dresses to Africa and the crochet purses to Appalachia. Having a guest that sews for charity is my favorite part of the show. You are delightful to watch and I never miss a show.

  • Diane Martenet
    May 25, 2013

    As a child I was always taking things apart to see how they worked. Seeing behind the scenes, and behind the table, was fun. Thanks for this special treat.

  • Genni Rettke
    May 25, 2013

    I always enjoy knowing what goes on ” behind the scenes, and this was especially interesting because I’ve watched your career and shows almost from the beginning. It’s a sorry Saturday for me when “my” show is preempted by some other (boring) program. At 90 I still learn something new every time I watch your show.

  • Barbara Palmatier
    May 26, 2013

    I have watched your show for many years and it was always nice because my husband would have a favorite on right after you every Sunday. We would sit down together and watch both shows. Sadly neither show plays anymore in Rochester, N.Y. I am so glad you are online now and I can see you there, but I miss our hour together. It is nice to see behind the scenes. Glad you have a nice crew, it makes all the hard work and planning go bye so much smoother. Hope to see you for many more years. You and your guests make it all look so easy, and for the most part it is, and fun too.

Post a Comment