Welp, the inevitable has happened.
After managing to hide from and dodge the dreaded Covid for a little over two years now, my powers of Evasion & Invisibility have proven futile in the end.
Yep. My family and I all tested positive for the ’Vid earlier this month. All four of us were all over the spectrum of “level of seriousness” for Covid symptoms; The Hubs and I were miserable with body aches, headaches, runny nose, cough, and extreme fatigue, but no fever. My eldest had the worst of it, I think; feeling miserable with all of the above, PLUS high fever the first few days. Then there was my youngest, who barely showed any symptoms other than a runny nose and positive test the whole time. All of us are vaccinated. Thank God, as of now, we all made it through in the end and are pretty much all recovered.
Well, with the exception of yours truly, that is.
I tell ya, post-Covid after effects are no joke. We pretty much did the whole 10 days of quarantine because the Hubs and I were still testing positive after the 5th day. Then, for a little while afterwards, everyone except me seemed to be back to normal and symptom free. For one thing, even though I never lost my sense of taste or smell, my taste buds were still feeling out-of-whack, causing me to not have very much of an appetite for any kind of food, even when I’m hungry. It is slooowly coming back though. I still have a very annoying, lingering cough that keeps me awake at night. But that doesn’t really matter anyway, since Covid basically changed all my sleeping habits and I’ve been suffering from Insomnia ever since. 😒 Im trying not to complain, but man, I’m tired!
Anywhoo, the point of my post is of course attempting to get some sewing done while sick—which I did! Yay! But it was quite the ordeal to accomplish! I feel like it took forever for this dress to be made. There were points during Covid where I thought I was feeling good enough to walk around and get some sewing done. WRONG! On one such day, I sat at my table attempting to just cut out my pattern pieces. Easy Peasy, no effort needed, right? Well, I think I got through three small pattern pieces before I felt sudden, extreme exhaustion from the effort! I literally couldn’t hold my scissors correctly because my fingers and wrists were so achy! I ended up abandoning all plans of doing anything, and slept the rest of that day and night, and for the first few days. Whenever I did have any strength, I did pattern and fabric cutting and sewing in very small batches.
I sewed the vintage Simplicity 9015, which also happens to be an official Gunne Sax sewing pattern and actual brand style from the late 70s. I scored this gem (in my size! Woo!) on Etsy last month and was so happy to find it!
I love the off-shoulder style of this dress, especially with the shoulder ties. This pattern may not represent the usual iconic Gunne Sax style in silhouette, but the ribbon and lace detail in the top and bottom ruffle, and waistline definitely tie in with the brand’s charm and style. Overall, I like it for a fun, feminine Summer dress. The bodice and skirt are lined. The top ruffle has elastic sewed in, so you have the option of wearing it on or off the shoulder, and the back has a zipper and waist ties for optimal fit. There are two lengths available: maxi or midi. I made the midi.
Fabric & Sewing Details
- For fabric, I chose an all white cotton lawn with an embroidered striped pattern. I already had this fabric lined up for another dress, but I thought it would work better with the s9015. I debated using a classic floral print to truly make it Gunne, but I realize I don’t really have a lot of white clothing in my closet, and thought it was time for a wardrobe refresh. I still think it lends to a classic 70s look. Besides, I fully intended to line the edges with ribbon and lace, so that took care of Gunne aesthetics. My ribbon is a simple white satin from Joanne’s, and I got my white lace trim from laceplace.com. For this dress, I think I used between 8-9 yards of both lace and ribbon. I had some white batiste left over from previous projects so I used that for the bodice and skirt linings. Lining was necessary for this dress because it’s white lawn, and quite see-through. Since it is a summer dress I wanted to eliminate having to wear an extra slip underneath. Cotton batiste and lawn are perfect pairings for hot weather because both are very lightweight and airy, and comfy against the skin.
- Pattern directions were pretty easy to understand/follow. Because I had to wait for my ribbon to ship, I ended up straying out of order quite a bit with the directions. For example, I went ahead and got all the small detail sewing out of the way, like making the shoulder ties, waist ties, top and bottom ruffles, etc. I also went ahead and overlocked all the necessary edges of my fabric because fraying was fierce with both the main fabric and lining fabric.
- When it came to lining, I followed all steps for the bodice, but chose to interline the waistband and skirt pattern pieces as opposed to sewing the linings separately and attaching them to the pieces later. I did it without thinking really, and quite honestly just failed to read the directions first. Oh well, that’s what I get for wanting to move ahead, I guess. However, it really didn’t do anything to fatally alter the dress anyway. All it did was make the inside less ”neat” because I wasn’t hiding all the raw edges with the lining pieces. I just overlocked the raw edges, ironed them upwards, and it looks good to me. Also, I swear there was no mention in the fabric cutting directions that for the waistband, you need linings AND separate facings for them. Only when I got to the part in the directions for attaching the waistband to the bodice were facings even mentioned. So, needless to say, I omitted that part and everything is fine.
- I ended up having to add a bit to the waistband to make it fit better. The waist was way tiny for some reason. Its weird because in my other Gunne Sax patterns (also Simplicity) I had no issues with the waistline being too small. But then again those kind of fit issues are common with any vintage dress pattern, I’m noticing, so you just have to adjust when needed. Or else, I gained some extra inches……??? Either way, I added a couple inches to the back waistband pieces to give me more room.
- The underarm area of the dress, underneath the ruffle gets bias bound, which is a nice touch and lends to a nice, neat finish.
- As usual, I did any necessary hemming to the bottom to make it more height friendly for me. Although, I noticed that with the Gunne Sax patterns, it seems they are catered to shorter heights. I only took off an inch or two from the bottom before adding the lace. I went ahead and added more lace to the top of the bottom ruffle as well, just ‘cuz.
And here is my all white Summer Dress!
Remember when I said I added an inch or two to the waistline? Well, strangely enough, I found I didn’t need to after all! The finished waistband ended up being too big! So strange. Anyway, I’m glad I added the waist ties because they helped cinch the waist back in.
Oh, speaking of waistband, I have to admit that I did the absolute WORST sewing job with the ribbon trim at the waist! My top stitching is extremely wonky because I was sewing along the ruffle seam, and it caused my stitchline to shift in places in the worst way. I’m totally blaming it on having Covid and being so spaced out because of my fatigue, but trust me when I say it’s really bad. After sewing it, I just didn’t have the strength (literally and figuratively) to take out my seam ripper and do it over. You probably don’t notice it unless you zoom in really close (and I’m hoping no one will notice it as I wear it out in public either) but it is there and I’m going to just try my best and ignore it. It really is horrible though. Aaaarrgh!
I don’t really have many off-shoulder tops/dresses, but I love the style on this pattern. I also don’t usually like baring my arms much either, but the ruffle is a nice compromise. It’s so feminine and pretty. I like that I could hide the ties and just wear the ruffle on or off the shoulder on it’s own too. The lace and ribbon detail throughout really do give off that classic Gunne Sax vibe, right? And, even though this dress is completely white, all the different textures from the satin ribbon, lace, and striped pattern on the fabric totally stand out and give it so much character.
Despite a couple of sewing mishaps, I’m still really pleased with the finished results. And, even though this dress will always be known as the “Covid Dress” , I still like it and will lovingly wear it with pride (After a thorough wash in the machine first).
So I’ve successfully completed my 2nd Gunne Sax repro! I desperately need a 3rd now.
(and a 4th, and a 5th, 6th….etc.)
4 thoughts on “Covid & Another Gunne Sax Repro (Simplicity 9015)”
You look lovely in that dress, hon! It would be fun to wear, and probably be the only one like it at a party… Sorry to hear about the virus…but glad you and the family are getting through it without the massive complications requiring hospital care… Hang in there! Will keep y’all in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you, Mandy! We are so grateful that we made it through without any major complications!
I was worried for my eldest son, as he had really high fevers the first few days all ranging from 102 to 104. At that point I wanted to bring him to Urgent Care, but on-call nurse told us as long as his fever shows change with fever meds and his breathing is ok, not lethargic, etc, he doesn’t need to be seen. We’ll, a mix of Tylenol and ibuprofen, and lots of rest did the trick and his fever subsided,thank God!
I’m thinking of making this my birthday dress for the end of the month, but I already have another one saved, so maybe for a date night with the Hubs 🥰
My mom made me this dress when I was in 7th or 8th grade. I loved it and yours looks lovely, cool, and refreshing! Beautiful! Sorry you got the virus. We got it too after avoiding it this whole time. It’s been six weeks and I still get waves of exhaustion, especially if I overdo it. Takes me out the next day. Here’s to being vaccinated- as it clearly could have been worse! Again beautiful dress and I love it on you.
Thank you for those kind words! That’s so awesome that your mom sewed you one. What color/print was it?
Covid is everything horrible and terrible, but we survived and we are still blessed with our lives!❤️. Wow, 6 weeks ago and still experiencing after-effects? Oh boy….