Fontana Attempts the Difficult and Dangerous Reverse Bolero!

by Erin on August 6, 2009

Spadea 339

Fontana of Italy, in a feat never before attempted in pongee, novelty cottons, shantung, or faille, is performing the incredibly difficult REVERSE BOLERO with this pattern.

Previous attempts have ended in weird stomach wrinkles, odd tan lines, intermittent choking sensations, and having to ask strangers in the ladies' room to unbutton you when you get too hot.

Fontana, however, remains confident that this pattern will be the one to pull it off. "It will take a special kind of woman to help me complete my dream. Preferably, one who never sits down. That would be ideal."

Independent observers are skeptical. "Even if he does pull it off," said one Austrian judge who preferred to remain anonymous, "Everyone knows the Russian judge will give him lower marks on principle. As will Chanel."

Thanks to Lisa for sending me the link to this eBay auction

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Simeone August 6, 2009 at 8:34 am

Wow — a pattern from the fabled Fontana Sisters??! This is pretty impressive.As is the description written by the seller, which has me giggling almost as much as your blog posts, Erin:For a gay twosome, a smooth fitting bodice is set atop a buoyant skirt then given a dashing tri-cornered escort.Wish I could have that dress as an escort . . . !


QuiteLight August 6, 2009 at 8:41 am

Perhaps the choking sensation caused by the devilish reverse bolero woul be a greater issue for those without 3 foot long stalks for necks? The Great Fontana has clearly designed this dress to curry favour with his chinless model.


Ladygrande (Texas Marie) August 6, 2009 at 10:49 am

This pattern (or a very similar one) was made by my cousin many, many years ago. She looked lovely in it —- but, she was and is a teeny size.


Julia August 6, 2009 at 11:08 am

Oh. My. Goodness.I just laughed and laughed and laughed. Thank you so much.


Mimi Jackson August 6, 2009 at 11:35 am

And with a simple sleeve alteration, it could easily be converted into a fashionable straight jacket!


floribunda... aka Julie August 6, 2009 at 11:49 am

ack! I get claustrophobic just thinking about that pattern!


Cathy August 6, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Im sorry, I thought she had a napkin tied on for spills.


Sara August 6, 2009 at 1:13 pm



Kristen August 6, 2009 at 2:03 pm

lovely from the back though. (silver lining, anyone?) am fighting the urge to rub my neck. feeling choked just by looking at it!


Jen ~ MOMSPatterns August 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm

*Cant speak.. choking* lol


Anonymous August 6, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Difficult as the reverse bolero is, the score would have been higher if the designer had attempted the even higher degree of difficulty of the reverse fauxlero, which enjoyed renewed interest in the 1980s. –the French judge


evalyn August 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Egads! Im sorry to be blunt, but thats just a bad idea. The simple dress, while not outstanding, is a nice look. No need for the upside-down/bib/choker thing-a-majig.


Little Hunting Creek August 6, 2009 at 8:04 pm

The reverse bolero is a well meaning yet doomed attempt to make Giraffe Ladys neck look shorter. Pity.


Shelia August 6, 2009 at 8:07 pm

I love your commentary Erin!!


Cel Petro August 6, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Have I said this month yet that I love how your mind works?BTW–months ago you posted contact info for Little Dresses for Africa…I passed the info around and first my mom made about a dozen, then a friend made 8 or 9. THEN, my quilting group made 100! So, good on you, and thanks.


emedoodle August 7, 2009 at 12:24 am

Awesome site! I think I may have met a family member of yours today? An older man, grey hair, pleasant? I think he said you were his… daugher in law? Anyway, I was rather busy at the time and at work (used book store); he was selling some books which included a couple of Sew U books (way cool) and I was chatting with him about it. He called someone (his wife maybe?) to verefy what the website was named. There are two dress a day websites. This one seems more sewing related. Anyway, great site, and cute old man. Hope youre related to him. Oh and I now own your old Sew U books! :)


emedoodle August 7, 2009 at 12:29 am

Oh, and after all that, I forgot to add. This all happened just outside of Chicago, Il.


La BellaDonna August 7, 2009 at 8:27 am

Aaaaiieee. Even the awesomeness of Erin cannot salvage what is, essentially … a really unfortunate design idea. It is a credit to your cousin, Ladygrande, that she looked lovely … but Im guessing that she looked lovely despite, and not because of, this pattern.Reverse fauxlero for Teh LOSE …


Erin August 7, 2009 at 8:47 am

Oh, emedoodle, yes, that was my fantastic father-in-law, George! Hes a sweetheart, told me all about the nice girl at the bookstore who loves to sew! :-)Your store got a lot of my sewing book duplicates and ones that didnt make the moving cut. I bet you had to add extra shelves to that section just for me …


Cookie August 7, 2009 at 11:13 am

Spadea is my favorite! (Though I would rate this choice of theirs merely…valiant.) The story is they supposedly worked closely with design houses to create patterns of their garments, using the featured designers TOP SECRET techniques and ideas. Hence the enormouse PATTERNS ARE NOT RETURNABLE FOR EXCHANGE warning. For you see, Dear Customer, once you have glimpsed the inner secrets of Fontana of Italy or Biki of Milan or whomsoever, it goes to the grave with you.


theresa August 7, 2009 at 7:16 pm

so, is this why Spadea costs so much


Anonymous August 7, 2009 at 7:17 pm

I had this dress in high school. I got called into the office and was forced to wear a male teachers handkerchief pinned in the back of the bodice so I woulnt excite the male students!


Mischka August 17, 2009 at 5:31 am

Is it just me or is that the Hunchback of Notre Dames niece there at the bottom?


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: