Making Nancy Zieman’s bias spiral

While I was writing the September zine (on bias cut) for A Year of Zero Waste Sewing (see last week’s post), I chanced across some nifty ideas, including Nancy Zieman’s bias spiral method. It turns a rectangle into a bias tube with a point at each end.

The late Nancy Zieman had a long-running TV show in the US called Sewing with Nancy, which was never aired in Australia although (I think) her sewing books were available here. The bias spiral method is demonstrated on her show here (the action starts at 2:09min and goes until 8:10).

This bias spiral didn’t make it into the September zine due to space, but I thought it would be good to share it on this blog.

I gave it a whirl, starting with a rectangle…


Hot off the sewing machine…

And finished…

Unlike other bias spiral methods I explored in the zine, this one doesn’t involve cutting the fabric but it does give a 45 degree point at each end, which may or may not be useful. I can see it would be great for tie belts, scarves (like Nancy did) or even tie bows on blouses.



  1. giuliana bendandi on September 25, 2023 at 4:31 pm

    Dear Liz! I love love love this! I love sewing bias cut scarves and I will use this method a lot in the future! I love how Nancy explains how to figure out width and length – I admit that I never knew how big my scarves would turn out. Thank you very much for this information. I haven‘t read your bias zine yet, but am super looking forward to it! best, Giuls

    • lizhaywood on September 25, 2023 at 9:29 pm

      Agree, it’s a great idea, isn’t it!

  2. jane a butters on September 26, 2023 at 7:37 am

    thanks for this it seems a bit differnt to the article in threads for the book about making a bag first,now I cant remember the title sorry,also there is a sort of similar method used to cut a churridur,it is mentioned in a little book I have on shalwar cutting that I treasure and yet again cant remember the title,any way a huge thanks for all the work you do for us ,please dont over do stuff x

    • lizhaywood on September 26, 2023 at 3:58 pm

      Hi Jane, I’ve come across several methods of spiral cutting including that one you mention (Zarapkar System of Cutting for the bag method for churridur trousers – maybe the same book you have?), and it looks like the best method depends on the situation. Zieman’s looks excellent for scarves.
      Many thanks for your comment and kind words.

  3. carys on May 25, 2024 at 7:36 pm

    The Zarapkar book is available as a free download with lots of formats – I’m looking forward to reading it

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