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Monthly Archives: December 2010

16 12, 2010

American Parachute for Katy Perry

By |December 16th, 2010|News, Projects|2 Comments

Last month, we worked on a really interesting project, and I just had to share (especially after seeing the gorgeous photos and videos).  I love all of the custom stage curtains, digitally printed backdrops, and other specialty soft goods that we make, but it is particularly fascinating for me when we do projects that are more unique.

Katy Perry was scheduled to appear on VH1’s “Salute The Troops” special on December 5th, and she wanted to appear on stage in a very dramatic way – by parachute!

Naturally, she couldn’t really parachute on stage, but it certainly appeared as if she did, in a very patriotic way, and I am proud to say that Sew What? played a part in making it happen.

The parachute structure began as two custom steel frames, which fit together to mimic the shape of an open parachute.  The frames were then delivered to us, and our sewing shop got busy with red, white and blue stretch fabric.  It was a little tricky, as it was important to carefully match each stripe to the contours of the frames.  The end result?  An American Flag “Parachute.”

I thought it looked amazing in our sewing shop, but I was floored to see how spectacular it looked in use.  With the parachute suspended from above by unobstrusive cables, and Katy Perry hanging from the “parachute” by more noticeable white cables, it really did appear as if she was parachuting down onto the stage.  Very dramatic, don’t you think?

If you didn’t get a chance to catch the show and want to see more, you can go to the VH1 Divas “Salute the Troops” page to check videos, photos, and much more, or check out this article in London’s Daily Mail.

9 12, 2010

Kids Rock Free

By |December 9th, 2010|links, News|0 Comments

There are many great non-profit organizations today, raising money for everything from saving endangered species to curing cancer.  But I learned about one recently that really struck a chord (as it were).  As you know, Sew What? Inc. provides custom stage curtains, digitally printed theatrical backdrops, and a variety of other soft goods to the tours of major performing artists.  Well, the organization that I have learned about is, perhaps, contributing toward the future of the American music industry.

The organization is called the Fender Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free and low cost music education to children ages 7 through 17.  Located in the city of Corona, in Southern California, the Fender Center includes a music education wing, a music and arts museum, gift shop, and both indoor and outdoor performing spaces. 

All proceeds from the facility and outside donations go to the Fender Museum of the Arts Foundation to benefit the “Kids Rock Free©” program.  In the program, all children participating receive the first two sessions (16 weeks) of instruction free, after which they can continue in the program for just $150 per eight-week session (though over 70% receive scholarships for continuation sessions).  Instruction is offered in piano, guitar, bass guitar, combo band, vocal performance and drums.

A number of big-name artists and industry professionals are associated with the Fender Center, including Steve Miller, Paul Rodgers, and Joe Walsh, as well as Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.

With drastic cuts to music and arts education taking place in public schools throughout the country, this really is a terrific program – I hope that communities throughout the country (throughout the world even) take inspiration from the Fender Center and start similar programs.

6 12, 2010

Crimson Cabaret at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

By |December 6th, 2010|News, Products|0 Comments

I’ve posted several times about the gorgeous “Crimson Cabaret” drapes that Sew What? made for the Rent What? “Timeless and Traditional” collection of rental drapery.  But I have to post about it one more time.

I don’t know if you caught the “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” when it aired on CBS last week, but if you did, you saw the “Crimson Cabaret” drapes in action.   I must say that the drapes looked fabulous!  They evoke such a romantic, exotic, luxurious mood that is just perfect as the backdrops for beautiful models in fanciful lingerie.

If you didn’t catch the show (or if you did, but want to take another look at the drapes behind the models), the entire show is available for viewing on the CBS website – just click here.

By the way, the drapes can be seen best at .45 – .52 seconds as the show opens and at 7.00 – 7.35 for the beginning of Katy Perry’s performance.

2 12, 2010

Sonic Youth Project

By |December 2nd, 2010|Projects|0 Comments

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, in my post about videos, that Megan had recently come upon a video that she received from a client back in 2009 for a Sonic Youth project we had worked on.  Well, I thought I’d tell you more about it (and show you the video, as promised).

While we are primarily of manufacturer of custom stage drapes, we don’t limit ourselves to standard theatrical drapery.  Often, we are asked by clients, particularly those in the music touring industry, to “think outside the (drapery) box” to make something a little different (though still fabric based).  This was one of those projects. 

We were asked by Dan Hadley to make Custom Light Pod skins to fit over frames.  The primary fabric used was Flame Retardant Natural Heavy Weight Muslin with Blackout Lining (also known as Passfoam) used on the inside (except for the back).  Then, using client providing renderings, we cut out a different design from the front of each pod and inserted natural scrim into the cutout.  Lastly, the client contracted with an artist to scenically paint the pods.

This really was a clever design.  By lining the front and sides with Blackout Lining, but then cutting out the designs and inserting the scrim, a variety of lighting techniques could be utilized to emphasize the design and even trick the eye into thinking that the design is moving.

Not quite sure what I mean?  Check out the video of Sonic Youth that Dan sent Megan: