Whether you’re new to sewing or a seasoned stitcher, sewing a scarf expands your wardrobe while giving you a great sense of accomplishment! Rayons, silks, blends, and laces are just a few of the fabrics that can be sewn, serged, or tied into great accessories. I’d like to invite you to watch the second show of the 2-part series, Sensational Scarves online, on a DVD, or on Public TV.

Sensational scarves by nancy zieman

During this program, Donna Fenske and I detail five unique scarves:

The Chenille Scarf

Select a little over a yard of fabric, creatively cut into strips, stack the layers, stitch rows down the center, and then cut. After washing and drying, the fabric blooms and the boutique-style scarf is ready to wear.


Nancy Zieman Sensational Scarves Chenille Scarf Pg.7



Fairy-Dust Scarf

Can’t you just see the next scarf worn to a summer wedding? We call it a fairy-dust scarf as the layers almost seem to have a mystical appearance. Two layers of bridal illusion or lace, rotary cutting, and creative tying are all the steps that are needed to make this no-sew scarf project.


Nancy Zieman Sensational Scarves Fairy Dust Scarf Pg.10



Ruffled Scarf

Silk or silk-like fabrics are the perfect candidates for our next sensational scarf version. Choose your favorite drapable fabric. Perhaps you have something in your fabric stash that is just waiting for the opportunity to see the light of day!


Nancy Zieman Sensational Scarves Ruffled Scarf Pg.11



Ribbon Scarf

Silk ribbon is the fabric of this lovely scarf. Select 8–10, 2 yard cuts of ribbon and zigzag together. The sewing is simple; the result dramatic.


Nancy Zieman Sensational Scarves Ribbon Scarf Pg.12



Fleece Pocket Scarves

Our last scarf features the ever-popular polyester fleece. A fleece scarf is something you can make for the kids in your life. The mitten scarf is functional while sporting a unique pocket shape to showcase felting accents. It’s another sensational scarf project that’s enjoyable and quick to make.


Nancy Zieman Sensational Scarves Big Pocket Scarf Pg.14



Get to Know Donna Fenske

The name of my TV show really should be Sewing With Nancy, Donna, Kate, Diane, Lois, Pat, Laure, Deanna…you get the idea! I’m the choir director, but the chorus makes the music. Sitting in the first violin chair is Donna.

Here’s a few insights from Donna!


Sensational Scarves by nancy zieman with donna fenske



Q: Can you remember the first Sewing With Nancy show that you were a part of?

A: I’ve worked behind the scenes in the sewing room since 1984, and I did modeling for the catalog and TV show. The first time I helped at the TV studio was in 1986 for the Videolog, Nancy’s Notions catalog on video tape. We surely were ahead of our time! Also, in 1986 I remember working on the show Home-dec Window Treatments, with Gail Brown as Nancy’s guest. The first time I was a guest on camera was for the program Gifts In Minutes II in 1999.

Q: What’s your favorite part of working on the show?

A: The constant creative challenge of coming up with newness is my favorite part.

Q: What’s your least favorite part? You can be honest!

A: I don’t really have a least favorite. However, my biggest concern is that I make enough step-by-step samples to feature each process.

Q: Speaking of samples—we have a lots of them! Share with our readers how these samples are used and stored.

A: In addition to being used during TV production, the samples take on a second life in seminar appearances, displays in the store, or classes. All step-by-step samples are stored in file drawers and labeled by TV show. I have samples in storage going back to the 100 series—circa 1987. Duplicate and retired samples are sold to employees.

Q: Explain your job on a typical videotaping day.

A: A typical taping day begins very early with an hour drive to the TV studio at Wisconsin Public Television, in Madison, WI. We’ve traveled the route through torrential downpours, freezing rain, and blizzards. I remember one trip where we pulled off the highway when roads became too treacherous to continue. We weathered out the driving rainstorm at a coworker’s home. She was a little surprised to see us knocking at her door at that early hour!

Upon arrival to the studio, the van is unloaded and I begin arranging the step-by-step samples for each segment. While Nancy is in makeup, I coordinate cutaways—the close-up shots you see of the projects. I anticipate and prepare for the needs of the upcoming segments and I work with Nancy on streamlining or presenting segments to make it interesting and fun for the viewers. Throughout the day, my time is split between the studio and control room, running the teleprompter, dressing and undressing the dress forms,  and taking quick action to locate just the right sewing notion.

Q: What’s one of your most unusual experiences on the show?

A: Many years ago, we recorded a program with professional models. It was a tremendous undertaking before and during the show. The dressing room events were quite challenging, to say the least. Videotaping two programs takes a full day. Adding the element of models within the same time frame was quite a feat! I felt much like a circus ring leader.

Nancy's Giveaway

Donna and I showcase 13 other scarf techniques during the 2-part series. Please vote for your favorite scarf technique. Choose from the five scarves above or choose from the other scarves featured in part 1 of the series. A random winner will receive a copy of the book, Sensational Scarves.

Sensational scarves by nancy zieman

Watch this episode on your local PBS stationonline, or on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone. Have you downloaded the app?

Sewing With Nancy app

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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