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So far Megan has created 153 blog entries.
19 12, 2018

Our Projection Proscenium Helped Create A Unique Stage For Tenacious D

By |December 19th, 2018|Products, Projects|1 Comment

The sewing staff at Sew What? Inc. are always super excited to have a Dan Hadley design pass through the sewing room.  Dan’s projects seem to bring out the best in our creative sewing skills, with textile minded challenges and fabric selections beyond the basic. It is always fun to watch the design come to life on the sewing table, and then see it in all it’s glory on stage once the tour starts. This design for the current Tenacious D tour was no exception!

Tenacious D is a rock duo formed in 1994, by Jack Black and Kyle Glass.  Over the years, Tenacious D has supported large bands such as Pearl Jam and Tool. This year the band released an album titled Post-Apocalypto and a web series called, Tenacious D in Post-Apocalypto, on YouTube. Tenacious D is currently on tour with our custom-made projection proscenium.

This design focused on two elements, surface and shape.  Firstly – a fabric surface that would precisely mimic a projection screen, without the cost and maintenance of a vinyl projection screen product; and secondly, a precisely shaped projection proscenium to showcase carefully mapped out graphics.

When it comes to taking projection surfaces on the road, many of our touring clients lean toward a substitute material. While a professional vinyl projection screen certainly offers a premium surface, there are many inherent difficulties in a touring “on the road” environment which include excessive weight, difficult to clean, problems unfurling and installing vinyl screens in cold weather and more.

There are several substitute textiles that we find popular, and after reviewing the options designer Dan Hadley selected our 120 “Brillante”. With a jet black backside and a brilliant bright white semi-matte surface to take front projection it was the perfect selection.

In order to keep all areas of the projection proscenium “seamless” the design was developed so that no individual surface area exceeded the 10 foot width of the cloth.  The shape was printed as a paper pattern, so that there would be absolutely no error made with the curves being precisely per the design. This is important so that the projection scene that had been pre-developed by the designer would sit perfectly on the cloth proscenium and not require to much graphic spill cleanup.

The legs were sewn as separate pieces to the proscenium header, making the set three pieces for an easy install. All the items fit easily in the bottom of a hamper and had durable touring finishes applied to them such as heavy-duty webbing and grommets at the top and reinforced pipe pockets at the bottoms of the legs.

It is amazing all the different looks that were created using the projection proscenium strategy. It is as though you are transported to a multitude of different venues in the course of one show.  By projecting a variety of “drapery looks” the theme of the stage was instantly transformed. Themes were Gothic, Art Deco, Pop Art and more…… The custom proscenium most importantly provided a surface for colorful and bold artistic slides mesmerizing the audience with this unique use of projection in the foreground – rather than the more tradition use of images and projection “behind the artists”.

Check out these amazing images showing just a few of the projection scenes created for the show.

And for those Tenacious D die-hards – here is a fun video on You Tube that you might get a kick out of – you will see our projection proscenium at work!

About Sew What?

Just like your audience, you want top performance. Sew What? understands and delivers. Our Stage Drapes and Theatrical Backdrops, Curtain Tracks and Theatrical Supplies exceed expectations and enhance your shows. For an experienced drapery manufacturer with work that ranges from digitally printed drapery for the hottest rock concerts, to the biggest theater performances, to just about any other kind of production under the sun, Sew What? is the answer. For inquiries call 310 639-6000.

28 11, 2018

Marc Anthony Digital Print For His Legacy Tour

By |November 28th, 2018|Clients, Digital Printing|1 Comment

Sew What? Inc. had the opportunity to really pull a rabbit out of a hat for the current Marc Anthony tour. Not only was the task at hand a challenge in terms of sewing – it was also a challenge based on the very limited time frame. This was our moment to shine by performing some super-high-speed-sewing! Nonstop printing and stitching were in order, and the SW team pulled out all the stops to create this 46’h x 75’w digitally printed brail lift drape in just one week.

Wondering what a brail drape is? The term brail in fact comes from the maritime industry. Brails, in a sailing ship, are small lines used to haul in or up the edges (leeches) or corners of sails, before furling. On a ship rig, these brails are most often found on the mizzen sail. The command is, hale up the brails, or, brail up the sails. Certainly not to be confused with Braille, a tactile writing system for the blind.  In this instance the lines are use to lift and unfurl the stage drapery to create a reveal and cover effect that can be operated remotely via the motorized lift system.

For this project, there were a total of 16 vertical lift lines placed strategically on the back side of the drape. We craft these as near-invisible sewn vertical lines with O-rings running vertically to capture the aircraft cable that is used for lifting the drape. Each lift line runs the full 46 feet in height – so there were over 700 running feet of lift line alone on this giant drapery with nearly 500 hand applied o-rings on the back side.

Matching the printed pattern is also a key component. In this case the print was printed onto 9 custom sized widths of fabric. For durability and a gorgeous lighting surface, we chose to direct print onto our crystal poplin. It is important that each printed segment is lined up perfectly before it is sewn. We used thousands of sewing pins to pre-pin by hand all the sections of cloth. So great attention is given to the craft of assembling the drape. Print. Seam. Add lift lines.  Finish top, sides and bottom. Add hardware. Insert all the O-rings. Inspect. Fold and ship!

It was a pleasure to work with the Marc Anthony team and specifically with his talented designer Travis Shirley and Roly Garbalosa of Garba Music.  Sew What? Inc. was delighted to be a key player in the production of this amazing arena tour!

21 11, 2018

Ultra Violet Backdrop for TOTO

By |November 21st, 2018|Products, Projects|1 Comment

Sew What? Inc. was recently given the opportunity to create a backdrop for TOTO. The artwork for this backdrop was initially delivered as a “square piece of art”. This is often typical for art that has been designed for an album or CD cover. In order to achieve a landscape style backdrop piece, it was necessary to have the artwork extended to add graphic elements to both the sides and the bottom of the scene. For this we worked directly with John Rios of John Rios Designs who is a skilled entertainment industry graphic artist and backdrop designer. In this case he used the style and theme of the client’s original artwork design and added details in the style of the original art so that it would fit the landscape shape we needed. The art was carefully formatted and saved so that the output would be at the greatest dpi resolution.

The new art file was then zipped and delivered to us at Sew What? Inc where we printed the file on our wide format vutek printer in house. The piece was printed onto our heavy cotton canvas substrate, and there are many hours of printing involved in a backdrop of this size. Once printed onto 10-foot-wide panels of cloth, the drop was vertically seamed by our sewing staff. The graphic was carefully lined up so that the detailed pattern was beautifully and invisibly matched when sewn into its finished size of 30’h x 40’w. Webbing reinforcements, hems and pockets were added to make the backdrop installation ready.

Once sewn the drape was then applied to a paint frame, where our skilled scenic artist took time to hand paint Ultra Violet effects carefully onto the key areas of the graphic.  This is a slow process and requires great care. The painting must be constantly checked under black light to make sure the UV effects are producing the desired effect.  More than just highlights, it was important that the drop had one look when under traditional stage lighting (to look and feel like the album art), and then take on its own complete UV look when the Ultra Violet lights are applied to it on stage (another worldly glow! Astronomical!).

23 04, 2018

Winter Wonderland – Sew Whatters show their style in some SW? Swag!

By |April 23rd, 2018|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

Over the years, we have had so many fun and unique T-Shirt designs. From tongue in cheek catch phrases to blinged out wings, we all have a mighty fine collection of SW? swag.  Each design has had a unique twist – as different staff have stepped in to design the theme and in many cases craft the design too.  Not only can our team create amazing drapes and backdrops, but they have rock’n fashion style too!

So, when the weather took a cold turn recently, we decided that some fun SW beanies were just what the doctor ordered! Perfect antidote for the chill, and we can’t help but smile when we all bop around in our logo beannies together.

Kim Curran, our Chief Purchasing Agent, and Andrea Fraser of our Customer Care Department look adorable rocking their branded beannies 😊

For those of you who visit our facility – these were a custom short run…… and there are just a few left.  Ask for yours at the shipping and receiving office before they are all gone.

14 03, 2018

Versatile Silver Satin for Stage Drapes and Backdrops

By |March 14th, 2018|Products, Projects|1 Comment

So often we have clients enquire about our rental drapes – asking which of our rental drapery collections is the most versatile for stage lighting.

Hands down – we always recommend our Silver Satin Collection. This collection of rental drapes is so extensive, from theatre legs to full arena sized Austrian curtains, swaggy borders to bi-parting main stage drapes.  Mix and match from our palette of silver satins and silks – and add in some black chrome illusion for the ultimate stage design.

We love this variety of silver patina fabrics! The lighting scenarios that the glossy silver and pewter toned cloth offers is so extensive.  We have seen clients use these drapes in a wide variety of ways, and under variable stage lighting conditions. With so many different results, it is hard to believe that they are all the same drapes!  That in a nutshell is the beauty of this collection.  No two events or installations will ever look the same.

Check out Jennifer Hudson in front of this mesmerizing stage design by Butch Allen – these massive silver swags are available for rent in our inventory. Contact us for more information.

Take the silver collection in the image below – here you see the same drapery elements, with a different installation configuration. Lit with burnt umber tones, the overall effect is both dramatic and vintage.  This timeless lighting design combined with the traditional visuals of swags and jabots takes the audience back to the 1940’s.

We miss Dolores dearly – the recent passing of the Cranberries lead singer certainly came as a shock to us here at Sew What? Inc.  We had many opportunities to supply softgoods over the years to this band, and our Silver Satin Collection was a go to for use on their tours.  Seen here, the Cranberries designer combined custom hard-set elements on fly bars to add depth to the stage and bring a thoroughly modern look to the design.  Add in our low-tech LED light strings as seen in this photo, and a whimsical world appears.

Fun design hint: See how the client added small silver swagettes at stage level to back the individual players? What a unique way to create spectacular photo-opportunity backgrounds for the concert photographers when taking close-up shots of the artists.

Does your design call for a variety of bright lighting palettes? Red – Blue – Purple? That’s not a problem.  These glossy silver tones take primary reds and blues with no issue.  Check out our 30’h x 60’w Silver Crushed Satin Austrian Stage Drape under LED stage lighting on a recent Lady Gaga tour.  As you can see – the versatility of silver cloth is unrivalled.

And last, but not by any means least……………..  Combine pieces from more that one drapery collection for the ultimate mix and match opportunity.  Seen here at the 57th LA County Holiday Celebration, a LED stardrop from our Starry Night Stardrop Collection is combined with a silver satin swag from the Silver Satin Collection.  Costumes, dancers, lights, sound, music.  The stage is sparkling with excitement, and our stardrop backdrop and satin swag certainly provides the perfect background.

Far more than stage curtains and theatrical drapery. Just like your audience, you want top performance. Sew What? delivers! Our Stage Curtains and Theatrical Draperies, Stage Backdrops, Curtain Tracks and Theatrical Supplies exceed your expectations and enhance your shows and events. With experience that ranges from the hottest rock concerts to the biggest theatrical events, to school auditorium performances, and just about any other kind of production under the sun, Sew What? is the answer. Click here to contact us or call us at (310) 639-6000 for information on our wide selection of rental drapery and custom drapery fabrication services.