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Monthly Archives: September 2009

18 09, 2009

The Sew What? Family

By |September 18th, 2009|Sew What Team|0 Comments

Here at Sew What? we think of ourselves as a family.  Many of us have been working here for five or more years – and the very first employee, Maria, is still with us after more than 11 years!

We thought that you, our readers, might like to get to know the Sew What? family as well.   So, I’d like to introduce you to Silvia Soler.  Silvia is our Human Resources Manager and is a new contributor to this blog.  Each month, Silvia will be presenting to you the Sew What? “Star of the Month,” a feature in which you can get to know our employees.

I hope you enjoy learning more about all the dedicated and talented people here at Sew What? Inc.

16 09, 2009

More on Metal Mesh

By |September 16th, 2009|Fabrics, Products|3 Comments

Back in July, I posted a photo of a cool drape that we made for our sister company, Rent What?, from aluminum mesh.  Well, I thought it was time that I told you more about it.

If you are looking for a cool industrial look, a metal mesh drape is a great option.  It is very dramatic and provides a textured background for effective and unique lighting effects.  It is also available in different tints, giving interesting color and texture even when in an unlit condition.

It is also surprisingly light – a 30′ h x 10′ w leg weighs just 15 pounds (compare that to an unpleated Commando leg of the same size – which weights about 25 to 30 pounds).

And when you are loading out the show, just push the mesh drape into a hamper – no folding required.  When you get to the next venue, pull it out, hang it, and “fluff it” to size.  After all, wrinkles are not only expected – they’re preferred with a metal mesh drape!

This really is a great option for a tour – as a matter of fact, it was just what legendary rock band Journey wanted for their 2009 tour, and Rent What? was ready and able to provide them.

14 09, 2009

Memories on the Road and at Home

By |September 14th, 2009|Authors, Sew What Team|0 Comments

I am still working the deal for Fantasy Rock Camp.  I am told that my personal hero Mr Meat Loaf will be the host.  I am very excited to say the least.  LOL.  No – you can never be too old to appreciate such an opportunity.  You love him too – I just know it.

Speaking of opportunity – I have lately been thinking about the various artists whom I have had occasion to come in contact with over the 20+ years that I have been in the industry.  “Why?” I hear you ask, “would you possibly want to remember the night when the audience rushed the stage at an Anthrax concert while you huddled up the truss in a follow spot seat above the crowd quivering with fear and mild excitement?”

Hmm – good question.

The newer members of the Sew What? family tend to be infinitely amused by these stories, and the old-timers know them verbatim and can repeat them on cue on my behalf when required.  Not to mention the fascination that our son William has developed hearing these road warrior stories.  There is much reason to reminisce.

Joe Gallagher and I once pushed the bus (literally) up Wilshire Blvd when King Crimson’s tour bus broke down.   On the very same tour, I think I may have even fallen asleep up on the dimmer rack mid “thrak-attack” at a show at the Greek.  Any genuine King Crimson fan would appreciate how very difficult that would be.  To achieve a degree of exhaustion capable of blocking the volume and the vibe is noteworthy.

More memorable moments – sitting with Rod Stewart on the stage steps in front of the custom draperies we created for him.  I posed for the photo opportunity – he did not need to – casual and cool, he looked like a rock star without any effort.

Meeting Queen Latifah in her blue jeans and striped sweater top – shaking hands – “Hi, I’m Dana.  How are you?”  WOW – amazing, talented, genuine and beautiful.  What a pleasure to work with such artists.  I am truly fortunate.

I have been told that success begets those who surround themselves with successful people.  We have not only successful clients, but successful employees too.  I love to see creativity and talent at every turn.  It is another great day for us at Sew What? – living the high life on the sunny side of Compton.  So, back to work for me now – and let me see from whom, and what, I might learn today.

11 09, 2009

Mixed Media Backdrop? What’s that?

By |September 11th, 2009|Digital Printing, Education, Products, Projects|6 Comments

I seem to recall way back in grade school, doing “mixed media” art projects.  The fact is, I can’t really say that any of these “art” projects of mine were very artistic.  The best you could say about them was that they were “crafty” – bits of macaroni glued on a paper plate, bits of ribbon and sequins – something only a mother could love!

Here at Sew What? we have been exploring a new meaning for the term “Mixed Media,” and in my mind it really is a form of art.  In a stage backdrop context, “mixed media” refers to combining a number of different textural elements to make one dramatic piece of stage scenery.

Not sure what I mean?  Rather than trying to explain it, I’ll let some of our recent projects do the talking:

Mixed Media – Lady Gaga Style


  • Digitally printed backdrop, with cut elements appliqued to scenery netting
  • Attach to that a front projection screen for low res moving imagery
  • Embed some LED lights on a basic battery pack, along with some smoke lines, for the gift that keeps on giving
  • One backdrop and about 100 looks!  That’s Mixed Media Lady Gaga Style!

Mixed Media – Motley Crue Style

  • Translucent poly substrate, digitally printed with bold graphics
  • Take out various elements  and fill with mesh
  • Add a backside applique in areas to reduce transparency strategically
  • Rock it Crue-Style with front lighting looks and back lighting blow through, and then whip it away kabuki-style when you’re done!

Mixed Media – Soulja Boy Style

  • All-American Red, White, and Blue backdrop on a traditional cloth substrate
  • Step it up a notch with glossy lenses – digitally rear-printed clear vinyl elements appliqued into the design strategically to give the appearance of reflective sunglass lenses
  • The result?  A dramatic backdrop that looks back at the audience! 

These are just a few examples of the huge diversity of looks that are achievable with a mixed media backdrop.  In the past, a scenic backdrop was simply fabric and a printed or painted image.  Now, with mixed media, a backdrop can be so much more. 

Mixed media is a concept that was introduced to us here at Sew What? a few years ago, and since then we have run with it and are continually “pushing the envelope” to find better and better ways to achieve the client’s vision in better and more innovative ways.  It’s not just about the fabric anymore!

9 09, 2009

Dell’s “Take Your Own Path” campaign

By |September 9th, 2009|Company, News|2 Comments

Recently, Dell Computers announced its selections for business owners to be featured in its “Take Your Own Path” campaign.  In the campaign, Dell spotlights inspiring entreprenuers from small and medium sized businesses around the world.

Megan Duckett, President & Founder of Sew What? Inc., was selected as one of seven “inspiring entreprenuers” in the United States – a group that Dell calls “Trailblazers” that includes founders of companies as well-known as Lonely Planet and LinkedIn. 

Here we are, a small company making custom stage curtains for churches and schools, rock tours and special events.  Most people have never heard of us, at least not in the way that people have heard of Lonely Planet, for example. What an honor for Megan, and for all of us here at Sew What? Inc., for her to be included in such company.  

But even before the Dell campaign, those of us here already considered Megan an inspiration – she never stops thinking and planning and dreaming of ways to make this little company become the best it can be!

Make sure to read the stories of all of the U.S. Trailblazers selected for the “Take Your Own Path” campaign – they truly are inspiring.