Here at Sew What?, late Autumn tends to be the “calm before the storm.”  Not many Rock N Roll Tours are starting up – with a few exceptions, many artists and production people are focused more on enjoying the holidays with their family and friends than in planning the next tour.  For other customers, budgets may be tight toward the end of the year.

Of course, there are always a few holiday productions needing drapery or hardware, or customers who need to spend money from this year’s budget before the end of the fiscal year (“use it or lose it”).   So work here in late Autumn tends to be steady but more low-key, and we usually have a little free time to work on improvements in our processes, infrastructure, and the like.

Once January comes, however, we know it is time to gear up.  With the holidays are over, many tour managers and production designers suddenly realize that the Spring / Summer tours are fast approaching, and they start to focus on the set design, including the stage drapes.  Busy as it may be at this time of year, it is also one of the most creatively fulfilling times here at Sew What?  It is exciting to be part of creating custom stage curtains, custom band backdrops, mixed media drapes, and other soft goods that take a designer’s vision from imagination to reality.

So, in honor of the upcoming tour season, I wanted to highlight a small selection from the many interesting tour projects we have worked on in years past…

Kenny Chesney

Digitally printed backdrops, with a new one each year.  Though the backdrops are sewn flat, lift lines are added to the back for use with a motorized lift system. Here’s an example of one year’s design.  Additional backdrops can be viewed in this Flickr Gallery.

Ken Ches_28

Photo By: Ed Wannebo

Carrie Underwood

Set of 6 Silver Austrian Drapes, giving the illusion of one very wide drape but the flexibility to lift and lower each section independently.  Silver fabric is ideal for lighting; it is hard to believe that these “red” drapes are actually silver.

Silver Austrian Drapes

Josh Groban

A gorgeous “pillow” backdrop, made from hundreds of squares of fabric in shades of white and silver.  This piece required painstaking work to cut, sew and assemble, but the final result was truly spectacular.

Josh Groban_5

Photo By: Calvin “Mac” Mosier

Foo Fighters

Digitally printed and appliqued sniffer kabuki in poly silk.  A sniffer drape in action is one of those effects that make you gasp when you see it, even if you have seen it dozens (or hundreds) of times in the past.  The digitally printed image in the center of this Sniffer Drape for Foo Fighters makes the effect especially dramatic.

Foo Fighters perform at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday August 12, 2015. Ian Kucerak/Edmonton Sun/Postmedia Network

Foo Fighters perform at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday August 12, 2015. Ian Kucerak/Edmonton Sun/Postmedia Network

Photo By: Tom Braid