The “Snow White’s roaming gnome sweater” sweater















It was ridiculously difficult it was to get this easy sweater together. I had planned to make this for the book challenge and actually started working on it in the first week of August. I am trying to use fabric from my stash all the time so I was trying to find a book that somehow worked with the fabric I had available. Just like Tempest I wasn’t aware this challenge was about children’s books and not just any kind of book. I almost decided to make a long empire dress and claim that it’s inspired by Jane Austen..but then it suddently turned so cold that I could feel summer was definitely over and I wasn’t very motivated to work on a dress that I wouldn’t be able to wear for the next half year. I had bought a very cute sweatshirt pattern from an idependent German pattern company and I really wanted to do something with it.

I still have lots of red Polartec fleece and black fleece in my stash that would be perfect for a nice and warm sweater. Being an East German kid I didn’t grow up with Disney’s Snow White so when I think of Snow White I don’t think of a yellow and blue dress but the colors “red as blood, white as snow and black as ebony”. I already had black and red and since the pattern calls for a certain type of fabric it would easy to include white as well. Well, that’s what I thought…at first, I was debating whether I should line the collar with apple fabric (there’s so much of it around right now…) but since I found this really cool black and white striped rib knit for the cuffs and the hem, the apple fabric would have probably looked out of place because the fabric background was more cream colored and not as brilliantly white as the white in the rib knit. I decided to go all abstract and use red polka pots on a white background to get the white as in “Snow White” and the red as in “poisoned apple”…I had to order everything online (lack of time) and that’s where the problem started. I ordered on the German version of Etsy and it turned out that the seller was very unreliable. It took a week before I finally had the fabric and then, it turned out that she had sent red fabric with white polka dots instead of the other way round. I have nothing at all against white polka dots on red – but it obviously didn’t work at all for my project because I REALLY needed fabric that contained more white and I needed apples. The seller said she didn’t have that fabric anymore (but was still offering it in her shop anyway) and it took me three weeks to get my money back. It wasn’t much money but I didn’t feel like letting her get away with this kind of thing (she seems to do this a lot judging from her customer feedback…). I have been swamped with work lately and I have a few more other things on my plate that keep me so busy that it’s difficult for me to complete the weekly challenges so I lost track of this for a while…but I finally managed to order white fabric with red dots. It arrived on Thursday, I finished that sweater on Friday, and we hurriedly took photos on Saturday morning and here it is – the book challenge disguised as the polka dot challenge. :)

I am happy with how the sweater looks in general but not happy with how it looks on me. I am simply too tall for it. The pattern was clearly made for a woman who’s at least 2 inches shorter than me – the sleeves are too short and the length of the sweater isn’t flattering for me. I also have the feeling the collar should be a bit wider for me – I just can’t drape it as nicely as they show on the pattern envelope. I guess this could be because the fabric is so thick but I think it would help if there was a bit more material one could actually drape. The proportions just seem a bit too petite for me. I will make this exact sweater one more time but this time, I’ll make the sleeves and the hem longer and I’ll make the collar a bit wide. The sleeves are bothering me in particular – I kept tugging them down all the time when I was wearing it and it felt like wearing something I have outgrown (it’s not that visible in the photos but they are short – even my husband noticed that and he hardly ever notices anything about clothes…)  I really feel like a giant when wearing this and in an ironic way, this fits quite well to Snow White who is way too big for the little hut, the beds, the chairs and probably also for the dwarves’ clothes…not sure whether dwarves and gnomes are the same (according to Terry Pratchett, they aren’t) but I just had to use a title that refers to Tempest’s wonderful gnome dress because I think it’s hilarious how my polka dot contribution (accidentally) relates to dwarves/gnomes as well – in a very very subtle way.



The facts

⁃ Pattern: Miou Miou, “Luna” sweatshirt, slightly modified (I added a yoke part on the back so the front yoke wouldn’t look like a bib that abruptly stops at the shoulder line.)

-Fabric: about 1 yd of red Polartec fleece from stash, about 0.5 yd of black fleece from stash, 1/4 yd of polka dot fabric (2 EUR), 1/3 yd of striped rib knit for cuffs and hem (8 EUR)

-Year: contemporary
⁃ Notions: less than 1 yrd of white rick rack trim – 1 EUR
⁃ Time to complete: I didn’t time it. It took me weeks to complete it because I had trouble getting the pola dot fabric. The cutting and sewing took probably about 2 hours. It’s a very simple pattern.
⁃ First worn: 22 September 2012 – on the morning of my 7th wedding anniversary to go to the playground with my son :)
⁃ Wear again? – No. I will sell this sweater because of the gnome factor, I will make exactly the same sweater one more time but this time with a much longer hem and with longer sleeves.
⁃ Total price: 10 EUR



Djamila is a German translator living in Berlin, Germany. She is married to an American and has a 4-year-old son who never sleeps. She used to sew A LOT before her son was born. After 4 years of wearing practical sandbox-clothes she finally wants to get her original fashion style back and sew a lot more again.


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  1. Oh cute! It looks adorable – and super comfortable. What a pity that it doesn’t fit as well as you’d like.

    And happy anniversary! We’ll be celebrating 7 this year too. It even works well with your sweater!

    • Thanks, Leimomi. You know, it took me a while to figure out why my anniversary works well with my sweater… Duh. ;) I am sure I’ll make it one more time and then it’ll be perfect.

  2. Some projects are just fabulous muslins. It is very cute, good for you for moving on. Please post pics of the next version! LOVE seeing your adorable son in all your posts : )