Invisible Mantelpiece!

by Erin on March 26, 2008


Butterick 2146

Cookie sent this pattern — which is actually a lovely dress, from So Vintage patterns — for us all to make fun of the picture.

Oh, it's so easy, isn't it? What is her arm resting on? Is the other woman painted on the wall, and Foreground Woman is leaning against the wall? Does Background Woman have an unfortunate and conveniently placed bone spur coming out of her thigh? Or (my favorite hypothesis) was there an invisible mantelpiece, made by some ancient 1960s technology, now lost? Is Background Woman about to say something tactless, or reveal a secret (look at her, on the verge of speech) and Foreground Woman is elbowing her to shut up already? Were they pushing and shoving to see who, in fact, would get to be Foreground Woman?

Foreground Woman could also be a space alien: look at her head and tell me that's not a wig covering up her enlarged brain inside a transparent domed skull.

Too bad the envelope image is so WTF-y; I really like the dress! (But you know I'm a sucker for those single-button bodices. And for transparent domed skulls, when you come right down to it.)

[Cookie, by the way, is also looking for Butterick 2241, a 1960s shirtdress. If you know where one is, want to let me know, or post a link in the comments?]

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Whitestone March 26, 2008 at 8:00 am

I recognize the pose. It’s one of “my antiperspirant has quit! And my underarm is Wet!” Her next move, of course, is to tuck a folded kleenex under her arm and hope it doesn’t fall out her sleeve.

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Toby Wollin March 26, 2008 at 8:07 am

Now, for me, what is going on is that the woman in the backgroun is saying, “Ceil, you can stop doing your Marcel Mareau immitations now.”

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john March 26, 2008 at 8:12 am

foreground woman is doing the inverted peace sign which means ? who knows-maybe some fashion model secret thing-

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Lisa Simeone March 26, 2008 at 8:37 am

Background Woman is giving Foreground Woman the *snap!* because she looks so much more fabulous!

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Mad Fashionista March 26, 2008 at 8:38 am

Dahling, don’t be silly! They’re “Vogue”-ing as it was done back in the day. Movement was rather restricted for ladies, you know.

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kim p. March 26, 2008 at 8:43 am

Background Model has hypnotized Foreground Model: “When I snap my fingers, imagine yourself leaning on the mantle at a boring cocktail party, giving your date the agreed-upon ‘let’s-get-out-of-here’ signal.”

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kristine March 26, 2008 at 9:04 am

Foreground Woman looks like she’s letting her “fingers do the walking”–is she pantomiming something? Maybe she’s making fun of Background Woman, snarkily saying she should walk on out of the picture.

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Eevin March 26, 2008 at 9:10 am

I totally thought background woman had just snapped her fingers, making the formerly visible mantle invisible – like she was demonstrating her cool invention for 007-like foreground woman.

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Mcfilibuster March 26, 2008 at 9:16 am

Mrs. Plaid: Doctor, could you come tell this woman to put her broken arm back in her sling? She has moved it, and I think she might put some real weight on it.Mrs. Blue: I”m ok, I just can’t move my elbow… everything is under control! Just need to find some support before my shoulder cramps up. Owww.Mrs. Plaid: Doctor, Could you ring the psychiatrist as well? She’s gone a little funny.Mrs. Blue: Oww. No, I’m ok! Ouch. Really! Ooof. I just need my sling and a percoset and I’ll be ok. Could you hand my sling to me, Mrs. Blue?Mrs. Blue: Doctor, are you coming? This poor woman needs help!

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lorrwill March 26, 2008 at 9:43 am

Naw you’re all wrong. Foreground woman is just starting some alien hip-hop robot dance move and background woman is making her do it with a super tiny remote control.

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Nora March 26, 2008 at 9:45 am

Foreground lady is clearly throwing signs; maybe she’s in a rival gang from Background (Crips v. Plaids)?But I love the design, too. Cn I be in ur gang blue lady?

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Jen - The Alien Spouse March 26, 2008 at 10:03 am

I love the Alien idea, but then I would…I’m with Nora on the gang signs, but it could just be I’ve overdosed on “The Wire”. Last week I was convinced my neighbours were slinging.Actually I think Background Woman might be holding something, possibly the vital clue in a murder mystery. If I run with that hypothesis the Foreground Gal is definitely the psycho-killer.

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Marge, Born Too Late Vintage March 26, 2008 at 10:44 am

Blue woman actually has a merry widow stay that is poking her in the chest if she puts her arm down. I’m sure she’s thinking, “Now if I can just casually stand by the fireplace and rest my arm on the mantle I can get through the rest of this incredibly boring cocktail party. Why oh why did I let Marge (foreground woman) talk me into this God awful contraption.”

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Marge, Born Too Late Vintage March 26, 2008 at 10:44 am

Blue woman actually has a merry widow stay that is poking her in the chest if she puts her arm down. I’m sure she’s thinking, “Now if I can just casually stand by the fireplace and rest my arm on the mantle I can get through the rest of this incredibly boring cocktail party. Why oh why did I let Marge (foreground woman) talk me into this God awful contraption.”

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Cookie March 26, 2008 at 10:53 am

My first impression was that the foreground woman was an alcoholic artists model in the 60′s, so accustomed to leaning on bars that her arm eventually stuck that way. Sadly, she showed up at this sitting is a blackout and it was one of her last jobs. The only thing I can say about Background Woman is her arm seems to be misshapen. Maybe that’s why she’s hiding it behind her dress? The elbow seems too high, and the forearm is sort of lumpy looking. Perhaps both these women took some 1960′s experimental drug that was eventually removed from the market because it affected one’s right arm.

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RachelMM March 26, 2008 at 11:25 am

I love this bodice in spite of the distracting and hilarious poses of the drawn models.Has anyone made a vintage dress with the single button? I’d love to see a picture!

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Anonymous March 26, 2008 at 11:41 am

Now I’m intrigued – what does Butterick 2241 look like?

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PhantomMinuet March 26, 2008 at 11:45 am

I think she’s signaling for a fast ball. :-)

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flea March 26, 2008 at 11:48 am

Clearly there is an untapped need for LOLPATTERNZ on the internets. I think A Dress A Day and its readers could fill this gaping hole in all our lives.

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Daedala March 26, 2008 at 11:49 am

Cemeterian may have it in b34. The picture is missing, so I’m not sure what’s up: http://www.cemetarian.com/shopping/pgm-more_information.php?id=1650&=SID

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Cookie March 26, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Thanks. I think the cemetarian site took the picture down because it’s out of stock. The dress itself (I’ll try to create a URL later) could be kind of matronly looking if done wrong, BUT would be nice in white linen with matching red belt and shoes.

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LadyT March 26, 2008 at 12:36 pm

if you though this pattern pic was hilarious, you should check out this site:http://www.threadbared.com/and especially this entry:http://www.threadbared.com/2005/05/ken_thought_it_.html

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HouseMouse March 26, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Gang signs and lucite mantel. Word!

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kim p. March 26, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Another thought: maybe Foreground Woman was the Bell Telephone spokesmodel, clearly suffering the effects of doing one too many takes of the “let your fingers do the walking” advertisement!

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Katie Alender March 26, 2008 at 1:21 pm

I’m going with Nora’s theory: gang signs!

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dulcet March 26, 2008 at 4:21 pm

I must second the recommendation for threadbared.com! So hilarious! Just sad that it isn’t going anymore.

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oracle March 26, 2008 at 4:50 pm

Ms Background: “I’ve just found a louse in your hair.”Ms Foreground: “Back off, Betsy.”

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Jen March 27, 2008 at 12:44 am

“two down,one to go….”It’s an old hand signal for sporty girls.meaning, of course, the lucky lady in the back is outta here next-

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lorrwill March 27, 2008 at 9:32 am

You all are too funny!flea: host it and they will come.I am now down with the gang signs. Even foreground woman’s facial expression kinda says, “yo.”

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Theresa March 27, 2008 at 12:37 pm

i have a one button bodie pattern that is very similar but with a HUGE button. When I make it, if it’s successful, I’ll let ya’ll know.

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Anonymous March 28, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Invisible Mantlepiece Woman bears a striking resemblance to Barbara Amiel (Conrad Black’s wife). Okay, I knew she was well-preserved, but could she have been around to pose for the pattern envelope???

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Zegi March 30, 2008 at 11:44 am

I picture her saying something like, can you deal with THAT! a la Ben Stiller.

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Linda April 10, 2008 at 4:24 am

I loved your comments about the envelope cover for this. But I fell in love with the pattern and was fortunate enough to acquire it. Thanks for enabling my beginning vintage pattern buying habit!!!!

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