excuse me while i show you my football


“Excuse me…” That’s what the fit model said the first time I saw her do this. What the what? Well apparently, the piece of cloth that makes up the crotch of swimwear and other pant-like garments, is called a “football.” (You know, that little wedge of cloth that connects to the larger pieces of fabric, it’s football shaped!)

This is just one of the many terms I’m learning as I’ve ventured into another swimwear project.

My first such experience took place last year, but who knew that just a year later I would become what Sarah, the boss lady, calls the “swimsuit whisperer.”

We rush from trim specialists, where we choose zippers and elastic, to fabric store to pattern makers. Japanese ribbon? Yes please. A fitting with our fit model, seen above. Sure.  


I’m very lucky and I know it, I’m spending time with and learning from people who have been working in the garment district for 30, 40 years. They’re absolute experts in their field, they know details about the details.

They’re a dying breed, and they know it.

They’re the last of what used to be a proud part of the American economy. We all know some parts of the story: outsourcing has decimated industry in general, the manufacture of clothing has moved overseas, we can’t compete with cheap labor… As true as parts of this picture may be, there’s a layer beneath the surface that we have yet to face.

We still want lots of cheap clothing.  

Sometimes it seems like we believe it’s our “right” to buy $5.00 t-shirts! Where all the things in our closets come from and where they all end up, that, we’re less interested in. Is it a will to ignorance, or is it just ignorance?  




  • Haralee says:

    Just ignorance! My company is made in the USA and locally I hire all the people who manufacture, pattern makers, fit models, sample makers etc. I wish everyday that people would take some responsibility in their buying clothing choices. I would rather see people buy thrift shop clothing than cheap fashion!

  • Delia says:

    I think that people care, but they don’t care when it comes to their wallet. The fact that Trump has made his campaign on bringing jobs back to America should have galvanized the country to buy USA brands. Instead when it’s time to outfit 3 kids for school the $5.00 t-shirt looks mighty good.

    It’s a tough call because on the other hand there are women who are working, yes slave labor, for the first time and by doing so changing the very gender codes of their countries. Our history here in the west, is being repeated in Asian countries where women went to work in sweatshops and from there organized to get to vote.

    We can watch them repeat our grandmothers efforts and mistakes or we can support them through organizations like Women for Women International. Just sayin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *