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Monthly Archives: December 2013

23 12, 2013

Inspiring Young Girls with Entrepreneurial Spirit

By |December 23rd, 2013|Company, Education, News|1 Comment

Recently we were tickled pink to host Girl Scout Brownie Troop 15445, a troop of about 10 entrepreneurial and intelligent second-grade girls, sponsored by the Torrance YMCA. Megan Duckett, our President and CEO, gave these interested and energetic girls (along with several mom troop leaders) a tour around our facility, including offices and warehouse, showing them everything from how to design their own drape, to how the material gets chosen, cut, and sewn together, and finally how the finished drape looks once hung and displayed.




We loved being able to show these girls what a successful, “Made in America”, and female-owned-and-operated company looks like and what they can all aspire to become. We wish them the very best with all of their upcoming Girl Scout adventures, and look forward to seeing their entrepreneurial endeavors in years to come!

18 12, 2013

Reflecting on 2013 and Looking Forward to 2014

By |December 18th, 2013|Clients, Company|0 Comments

It’s hard to believe, but 2013 nears its close, and with the holiday season comes time to reflect on the year past.

We celebrated this year our 16th anniversary in business as Sew What? From those early days back in the garage, cutting fabric on the oak floorboards and shuffling the dinner off the table to make room for the sewing machine – indeed we have come a very long way. With us are so many familiar faces – employees from the onset and clients and vendors alike. For that fact alone we are indebted to those around us who have helped us grow and supported us through our many stages. Madison Street in a cozy 800 sq ft space, Vermont Avenue in a functional 6000 sq ft, and here on Gladwick Street in our very own luxurious and practical 15,000 sq ft. To those who have moved with us through the years…. thank you!

There has been great energy amongst the newly renamed “Whatter’s?, as we have made great strides to blend our sales and rental processes. Rent What? has transitioned from a standalone corporation to one that is more integrated within the Sew What? family. We are so thankful to those clients who have embraced our “duality” and now enjoy both our rental experience as well as our better known custom sales experience.

Our seasonal giving follows our annual philanthropic tradition. I know that many of you have been touched by cancer, either yourself, or your family and friends, just as I have been. In honor of my mother Delice whom we lost last year, and all those affected by cancer, we have made a donation to support cancer research with the American Cancer Society. We hope that our gift will make a difference in the future lives of those diagnosed with cancer.

All of us here look forward to the New Year, and all the challenging and interesting projects that are to come. We wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and a successful 2014!

American Cancer Society


17 12, 2013

A Peak into the Sew What? Production Room – The Making of an Austrian Drape

By |December 17th, 2013|Education, Products, Projects|2 Comments

Stunning, magical, sexy, dramatic- these are all words that have been used to describe our Austrian style drapes- a product that we pride ourselves in manufacturing as the very best in the business. I have never seen a drape make so many lighting designers giddy with the same level of excitement of 3 year old on Christmas Day than that of an Austrian. For anxious patrons of a production, it simply takes their breath away and sets the mood while heightening the expectation for the entire show before the first note is ever played, before any song is sung, and before any words are whispered. The Austrian drape silently speaks a bold message of confidence on behalf of everyone behind the curtain- no matter how chaotic or crazy it is backstage.

I have caught myself escaping into the production room and wrapping myself up in the Austrian’s plush pleats pretending I was the queen of some Loire Valley castle in the heart of France- an imaginary escape from the confines of my cubicle. This past week we’ve been working on yet another beauty in the back room-so I decided I should take you on a field trip into our sewing production room and show you little snippets of the process involved in making Austrian-style magic.

1) Flat panels of fabric are sewn together to achieve the desired width, taking into account both the horizontal and vertical fullness calculations.




2) Once the panels are sewn together, each panel is shirred where each lift line will be sewn. This process creates the vertical fullness. The photo below shows a panel that is only partially shirred.


3) Each shirred line has to be meticulously pinned, then sewn so that the swags hang evenly.



4) Once shirred vertically, lift lines are sewn to the backside to accommodate the motorized cables that lift the drape. Having a working lift line is optional, as some clients simply want a static (non-operable) backdrop for their special events.


5) The Austrian is nearly complete and needs to be pinned and sewn to a header so that it can be tied to a batten or a truss. This is also the step where the horizontal fullness develops into the drape. The horizontal fullness determines how deep the swags in each panel will hang.


6) Once sewing production is complete, the Austrian gets inspected and then folded by the Quality Control department before it is released to be shipped.


Voila! What once was yards and yards of boring bolted fabric has now blossomed into a beautiful working drape that will become one lucky lighting designer’s ‘blank canvas.’ This cream colored drape will be the ultimate lighting tool as it will light to whatever color that is washed onto it.


13 12, 2013

Linked In, una buena manera de mantenerse al día con Rent What? Y Sew What?

By |December 13th, 2013|En Espanol|0 Comments

En los últimos años, Rent What? Y Sew What? se han centrado en la expansión de nuestra presencia en línea en formas nuevas e innovadoras. Desde las páginas web informativas y, a continuación, a añadir recientemente corrientes expansivas fotos de Flickr y un canal de YouTube emocionante, e incluso a nuestro blog excepcional, ha sido un objetivo de larga data para la compañía para proporcionar el contenido en línea fácil de usar en cortinas de teatro de encargo y de alquiler y otros temas relacionados. Nuestro objetivo es informar, educar y entretener a los clientes y consumidores en todos los aspectos de nuestro negocio y todo lo que nuestra empresa tiene para ofrecer a nuestros clientes valiosos.

Nuestra última aventura es con LinkedIn, y estamos muy contentos de poder compartir con ustedes ahora! Mientras que el presidente de la Compañía Megan Duckett ha mantenido una cuenta de LinkedIn personal durante años, recientemente hemos lanzado una página oficial de la compañía para nuestros clientes para leer y disfrutar.


Sabemos que acceden a la información en la web de muchas maneras diferentes, y así hemos querido ofrecer un canal más para aquellos que buscan información sobre teatro y especial cortinas de evento. LinkedIn es una gran manera de mantenerse al día con los acontecimientos en Sew What?? y Rent What?, nuestro blog, y las empresas en general.

Con sólo hacer clic en el botón “Seguir” en la esquina superior derecha, usted forma rápida y sencilla para poder mantenerse al día con todas las noticias en Rent What? cortinas teatrales alquiler etapa, solenoides, pista de viajero, sistemas de elevación, vestuarios pop-up, y todo lo demás que nuestra empresa tiene para ofrecer!

11 12, 2013

Try Something Different for Your Tour Backdrop Design

By |December 11th, 2013|Products, Projects|1 Comment

To all you production designers and tour managers out there – if you have worked in the industry for any time at all, you know that the trends for scenic backdrops have changed over the years.  For a long time, it seemed as if the only option was to choose a hand-painted backdrop.  Then along came grand format digitally printing, and the options suddenly expanded greatly.  Well, you may not be aware of it, but there is yet another scenic backdrop option out there  – appliqued backdrops.


An appliqued backdrop may consist of one fabric sewn onto a fabric backdrop (such as above, in which a reflective fabric in two colors – gold and silver – was sewn onto a Black 22oz Encore backdrop) or may include several different elements, including digitally printed elements, fabric in various colors, and trim.  The applique may even be padded to add dimension and texture.


So, when you are considering the design of the scenic backdrop for your upcoming tour, consider making appliqued elements just one more tool in your design arsenal!