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Monthly Archives: April 2010

12 04, 2010

April Anniversaries

By |April 12th, 2010|Company, Sew What Team|0 Comments

April was another busy month for hiring staff – just like last month, I have a long list of anniversaries, including a couple of people who are not far from celebrating ten years at Sew What?

Congratulations, everyone!  We really appreciate your hard work and loyalty to Sew What?

Lola, Project Manager – 9 years

Alberto, Sewing Machine Operator – 8 years

Carley, Purchasing Agent – 2 years

Violet, Account Manager – 1 year

8 04, 2010

Vybe Booth for WSA

By |April 8th, 2010|Projects|0 Comments

This afternoon, Shane Nelsen (Senior Sales and Creative Director) shared a photo with me of a project he worked on back in January.  The photo was so great that I just had to share it.

Shane worked with Marisol Vasquez, Vice President of Groove Footwear / Vybe. Inc., to create a gorgeous romantic exhibit space to serve as a background for their beautiful shoes at the WSA (World Shoes + Accessories show).  What do you think?


Photo Courtesy Groove Footwear / Vybe Inc.

How was this look achieved?  The beautiful ornate furniture, display pieces, and accessories (provided by the client) that, along with the various drapery pieces made by Sew What?, combine to make the space stand out from the crowd.  FR Velvet Drapes in Regal Purple, pleated onsite to approximately 100% fullness, line the back wall to anchor the space.  The sides and ceiling of the space are kept more open and filmy through the use of sheer drapery panels in Fuchsia Voile

And the crowning glory?  The amazing digitally printed panel prominently displayed in the center of the back wall, flanked by the velvet drapes.   I love the artwork Groove provided for the panel (which I believe is the same or similar to the wallpaper on their website) – it sets the perfect mood for the space.

6 04, 2010

Focus On: Side Finishes

By |April 6th, 2010|Education|0 Comments

Periodically, I have been posting on the mechanics of stage drapesfullness, top finishes and, most recently, bottom finishes, where I promised to post on side finishes next.

Initially, one might wonder, “What is there to talk about in regards to side finishes?  It’s just a hem, isn’t it?”  Well, yes, in most cases, the side finish is a hem.  But not always.  And even when it is a hem, there are different styles and sizes of hems, depending on the drapery style, the fabric used, and how the drape will be used.


In some cases, the fabric itself has a clean edge (selvage).  As a result, for some drapes utilizing those fabrics, no side hem at all is required.  This is often the case for simple one-width drapery panels (such as Exhibit Booth drapes or special event drapes).  Encore Velour is one fabric that, when sewn into single-width exhibit drapery, is generally made with a selvage side finish.  Voile drapes are also made with a selvage side finish, especially when sewn as single-width panels for special event usage.  However, selvage sides are virtually never used for traditional stage drapes and are rarely used for multi-width panels (i.e. drapes that are unioned together to create a drape that is wider than the width of the original fabric).

Standard Double-Turned Hem

The standard side hem for most custom stage curtains and backdrops is a 2-2.  This means that 2″ of fabric is folded in on the side, and then another 2″ is folded over and then the hem is sewn.  This creates a clean finished edge to the hem with no chance of fraying.  In some cases, the hem may be slightly different, such as 3-3 or 1-1, but the standard is 2-2.

Half-Width Turnback

Another option for a side finish is a half-width turnback.  This involves folding the side edge back 1″, folding it again so that approximately half the width of the fabric is used for the side hem, and then sewing the turnback in place.  For example, if the fabric is 54″ wide, then 27″ of the fabric would be used for the side hem.  This side finish is typically used for the onstage edge of bi-parting traveller curtains (where the curtains meet in the middle).  If the onstage edge of the curtain should flip open slightly while the curtains are being opened or closed (thereby exposing the back of the curtain), the audience will see the “good” side of the fabric rather than the back of the fabric.  This side finish is also more durable due to the double thickness of fabric – the center point where bi-parting curtains meet is often subjected to more wear and tear, especially if the curtain is a walk-along (hand-operated rather than rope operated). 

Often a traveller curtain will have different side finishes on the two sides – the onstage edge will have a half-width turnback and the offstage edge will have a standard 2-2 hem.  However, in some cases, a half-width edge is designated for both sides of  bi-parting traveller curtains.  The benefit to this option is that, if the onstage edges of the two traveller curtains becomes frayed, the curtains can be reversed – the stage right curtain becomes the stage left curtain, and vice versa.  Suddenly, the frayed edges are on the offstage edges (and are therefore less noticeable), with the more pristine edges now on the onstage edges (more visible to the audience in the center of the stage). 

Twelve Inch Turnback

A 12″ turnback serves the same purpose as the half-width turnback – but is sometimes selected due to budgetary concerns, as this option saves a little money as less fabric is needed (just about 1/4 of a width of fabric vs 1/2 a width).

Baby Hem

A very small hem (usually 1/2″ – 1/2″) is generally used for very delicate fabrics, especially sheers, when it is important that the hem be clean and finished but not noticeable.  This side finish is often used for special event drapery that may be seen close-up (as opposed to traditional stage drapery that is generally seen from a distance).


Marrowing is a technique in which the actual edge of the fabric is sewn to provide a finished edge and prevent fraying, without actually folding back the fabric.  This finish is often used for table linens.