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29 07, 2019

Beautiful Custom Pleated Drape Adds Versatility To Church’s Overall Decor

By |July 29th, 2019|Fabrics, Projects|1 Comment

Custom-built theatrical curtains do not have to solely be made just for international rock tours, renowned Broadway productions, larger than life residencies in Las Vegas, or enormous arena performances. We are thrilled to work with clients of ALL varieties, and truly enjoy being able to provide gorgeous, one-of-a-kind custom drapery for all of our customers, no matter what their needs might be or where they might be located. Everything from sound baffling and light blocking, to color/design themed, to purely aesthetically pleasing–we delight in taking our customer’s design vision and helping them turn into breathtaking reality.

This past Spring we had the distinct privilege of working with the delightful Jennifer Giacomazza, purchasing agent for The Mission Church Carlsbad here in Southern California. They wanted to camouflage the front wall of the church with some elegant, luxurious-looking curtains for their upcoming Good Friday and Easter services. However, this drape needed to not only help mask off that specific area and fit in with the existing color scheme and overall motif of the church, but it would also need to be adaptable enough so that their team could utilize the drapes in the future to create a brand-new look and feel for their various special events and services, too.

One of the most efficient and successful ways to choose the precise right fabric for your custom drapery project is to discuss your preferred color, nap, texture, appearance, and finish with one of our insightful sales reps here at SW. This way we can better assist you and your team with suggestions and options based on your job’s own individual requirements. After reviewing the eSwatches on our website with Jennifer to narrow down the choices, we were more than happy to send physical fabric samples directly to her. This way she and her team could choose the exact fabric that they felt would work best for their own unique needs—which ended up being lightweight, velvety, IFR 8oz. Super-Vel in “Oyster,” made with hidden sewn ties on top to conceal the hanging hardware. This exquisite fabric is fantastically versatile in that it reflects colorful lighting extraordinarily well, it is inherently flame retardant (so it can be washed and spot-cleaned as needed), and it has a very “soft hand” so it works superbly in pleated drapery.

As you can see from these photos provided by the church staff, their Easter Service lighting and staging was absolutely breathtaking (done masterfully by their lead pastor, Pastor David Menard), and they were extremely pleased with how this new drapery aided with the final touch with their overall design—as were we! Sew What sincerely looks forward to our next project with Jennifer and the fine folks at The Mission Church Carlsbad.

21 08, 2018

Electrifying Custom-Built Stage Drapes Created For Dynamic World Tour

By |August 21st, 2018|Company, Fabrics, Products, Projects|1 Comment

When you are working with an artist and band that are larger-than-life in personality, it only makes sense to create a stage design that will appear larger-than-life as well.  Arguably one of the biggest personalities to take foot on any concert stage is the vivacious and brilliant pop singer Boy George, and especially so when he’s performing with his talented (off and on) band of over 37 years, Culture Club. Together they have dazzled audiences far and wide for almost four decades, and don’t show signs of stopping any time soon!

Boy George and Culture Club performing in Austin, Texas (2018-07-10)

Set Designer “Extraordinaire” Baz Halpin of Silent House Productions contacted our Senior Account Manager Shane Nelsen to have Sew What? Inc. provide them with some exceptionally one-of-a-kind stage drapes for Culture Club’s current international “Life” tour. These concerts will be blazing around the world from summer through winter (and beyond), and on arena and theatres stages of all sizes and layouts. They needed an eclectic array of fabulous soft goods that they could swag, drape, and frame the prosceniums with that could be blended together to create a luminous, dramatic appearance for audiences of all magnitudes to enjoy.

Boy George & Culture Club - 31 July 2018

They chose some IFR Crushed Gloss Silver Satin as the fabric to build all of these various theatrical stage drapes out of—which is a fantastic fabric to tour with. It is Inherently Flame Retardant so it tests well at venues, it is already “crushed” so it comes out of the hamper already made with a remarkable texture (and therefore is not afraid of wrinkling), and it’s a sturdy fabric so it does well with hanging along trusses and bastions. Using Baz’s incredibly imaginative design vision and drapery diagrams, Shane was able to have our gifted sewing team build 19 completely independent and completely unique curtains for this tour.

Boy George and Culture Club performing in Austin, Texas (2018-07-10)

And with Tour Manager Ian Faddie’s truly inspired “eye for staging”, the tour’s team is able to build an astonishing stage at each and every show. Using an assortment of custom-made, striking Angle/Profile Cut Drapes, exceptional Tab Drapes, and phenomenal Swagged Drapes, this design has a little bit of everything to it….and always ends with completely breathtaking results.  Colorful theatrical lighting motifs also help to give all parts of the show a completely unique mood and feel. Contact one of our representatives today so that we can help you make your theoretical design concept become a tangible reality for your next big concert, production, trade show, or other special event—either through sensational custom-built drapes, or from a variety of gorgeous rental draperies, too.

21 02, 2018

Digitally Printed Backdrop Stuns Audience At Church Production

By |February 21st, 2018|Digital Printing, Fabrics, Products|1 Comment

Recently I came across this awe-inspiring custom digital stage backdrop made from FR Vinyl Mesh, which was a multi-part piece printed and sewn by Sew What? Inc. for our client Triple Horse Studios. They wanted to have something truly remarkable custom-built for a large church production they were designing across the country, yet also it needed to be memorable, beautiful, AND functional.  Having this directly printed digital backdrop made into 5 separate pieces (consisting of drapes 42 feet high by: 35 feet wide, 20 feet wide, and 9 feet wide) allowed maximum flexibility for performer entrances and exits as well as the potential to move to a smaller (or larger) stage in the future. The angular “mosaic” style segments lent themselves stylistically to this instantly recognizable piece of art. FR Vinyl Mesh is an excellent candidate for printing – often overlooked for indoor use. The color saturation and output on this heavily coated vinyl mesh surface is extremely vibrant—fantastic for both smaller OR larger sized stages.

This custom theatrical backdrop made of Vinyl Mesh is great for when air circulation is of concern. This makes it an outstanding choice for indoor and outdoor events that may have sound and music elements. It is also tested and approved as Flame Retardant (FR) so you are not limited to only using it outdoors, which means it can safely be used for events and productions held in all types of venues. This specific backdrop was also “hot-wedge” welded, giving an almost “seamless” look to its vertical seams. Top-finished with webbing, grommets, and ties made it very easy to attach to the church’s in-house truss system in a manner of minutes.

Our state of the art, grand format in-house digital printer can create individual custom-printed pieces, seamless up to 10ft, and with our gifted sewing team’s skills at image matching and seaming, the sky’s the limit with how large you can have your soft goods sewn into! Here is another example of what this incredibly versatile Vinyl Mesh looks like up close through a colorful sample design:

As you can see, the images are extremely bright and clear, which will nicely showcase your intended photo or graphic stunningly for your entire audience to enjoy—for both those that are close-to and far-away from the stage. I would highly recommend having a personally tailored digitally printed backdrop created by the talented individuals at Sew What? instead– because they can literally take any idea from your imagination and turn it into a breathtaking reality.

18 12, 2017

Brilliant Graphic Design is Showcased in this Mixed Media Backdrop for Gov’t Mule

By |December 18th, 2017|Digital Printing, Fabrics, News, Products, Projects|1 Comment

Rock ’n’ roll music has always been a reflection of the times, and the new Gov’t Mule album, Revolution Come… Revolution Go, is no exception. The album was released June 9th, and the band again sets the tone for their legacy with its cleverly-crafted songs, intelligent lyrical commentary, and downright provocative playing. It’s those traditions, combined with an observant eye on the present, that define their tenth full-length studio effort.

This current tour supports the new album release, and Warren, Matt, Danny and Jorgen deliver a patchwork of musical styles, and you can see the passion in their performance in these wonderful photos by Heath Robson.

Image by Heath Robson

There are so many ways to approach each custom backdrop that we are asked to craft.  For a great number of our backdrops, the entire design is digitally printed on our wide format digital printer.  For Gov’t Mule, however, the bold design of the medallion style logo with its solid black surround lent itself perfectly to us crafting a mixed media backdrop. We used both solid opaque black cloth as well as a digitally printed replication of the central graphic, and then with great care we stitched them together into a multi layered piece of textile art.

Working with Tour Manager Fred Cox, we selected 22oz Encore Velour for its wrinkle resistant knit construction to be used for the black background.  Encore is a wonderful substrate for mixed media backdrops as when it is scissor cut it does not fray – allowing for intricate shapes and designs to be taken from the baseline fabric.

Image by Heath Robson

The medallion element in the center was printed in full and glorious color onto our Heavy Knit print fabric. This is a wrinkle resistant knit construction, that takes bright and bold colors well, and is a perfect candidate for applique.  After years of use in the marketplace, this substrate has proved itself a perfect match for tours and projects which require long periods of hamper storage.

The combination of Heavy Knit and Encore Velour is very popular for mixed media backdrops. Not only do our clients love this flame retardant cloth combination – but our sewing room does too! Both fabrics make their way through the sewing machines with ease, making this fabric combination, quite literally, a win-win.

Image by Heath Robson

The medallion area, once sewn onto the black drape, was then treated as a “feature element”.  We turned the drape on its face and meticulously cut away the black Encore Velour from the back of the printed areas.  What this did was allow for the medallion to glow (as it is a translucent fabric) when back lit by revealing it from behind.  This painstaking process required hours of careful trimming and hand scissor cutting to remove the Encore and reveal the glowing central element. Custom sewing for the Entertainment and Event Industry, such as this, is a specialty of ours.

Image by Heath Robson

From the Gov’t Mule website, Haynes is quoted to say, “In many ways, the chemistry between the four of us is an extension of the chemistry that the original trio had. The approach we take to the music is the same uncompromising and adventurous approach, although it’s inevitable that the music is going to grow in different directions. The common thread is the influences we choose and the way we play together, which harkens back to how important improvisation was in most of the music we all love. At the end of the day, we’re friends. Making this music is satisfying in a way that’s completely different from any other project I’ve been a part of. That’s what inspires all of us.”

Image by Heath Robson

About Sew What? Inc:   Custom sewing. It’s our passion, our bread and butter. It’s how we got started and what we live for. Our custom-sewn drapery products have graced the stages of many of the biggest names in music and theater, dressed some of the top fashion show runways, and brought color and drama to major trade show exhibits here and abroad.

We serve these main market areas: Theatrical Drapery Manufacturing, Touring Draperies for Concerts, and Custom Sewn Products for Special Events & Trade Show Exhibits. The portfolios below display many examples of our work and may offer you some ideas on what’s possible with custom drapery. Need ideas? Visit our various Portfolios below or our Flickr Gallery for past projects, and then review fabric choices.

28 11, 2017

Interesting Blog Post Explaining Knit and Woven Fabrics

By |November 28th, 2017|Education, Fabrics, links|1 Comment

Here at Sew What?, our focus is on the manufacturing of custom stage drapes and other soft goods. Along the way, we love to educate our blog readers about stage drapery – from the different material options to fullness to finishes.

Recently, Megan read a post from Dutch Label Shop that does a great job at explaining the differences in knit fabrics and woven fabrics, and so I thought I’d pass the information on to our readers. Click below to read this interesting post:

The Difference Between Knit and Woven Fabric

While Dutch Label Shop is focused on sewing apparel (they sell custom clothing labels), this post applies to fabric used in a variety of applications – including stage drapery and soft goods. For example, for digitally printed backdrops, we have both knit (such as Heavy Knit) and woven (such as Cotton Canvas) fabrics available.

We utilize many fabrics, both knit and woven, when making custom stage drapes, mixed media backdrops, LED Stardrops, and other stage soft goods. Of course, different fabrics work better for different needs, so we always offer the most appropriate fabric for the project – whether that be a knit fabric or a woven fabric.