The clean lines of Nénuphar work as well in solid fabrics, for a lightweight jacket to add over any outfit, as in prints for an eye-catching statement piece. If you’d like to emphasize the kimono inspiration of this pattern, don’t be scared to look into traditional Japanese fabrics. Though they can be hard to find in brick-and-mortar stores outside of specialty shops, you can find them easily online, for instance on the beautiful Miss Matatabi website.
The architectural volumes of Nénuphar’s version A require fabric with some body, so that the collar keeps its shape and the 3/4 sleeves don’t collapse. Nothing to stiff, though: a crisp fabric, such as poplin, wouldn’t be very comfortable to wear for this type of garment. Instead, use chambray, lawn, or lightweight cotton sateen.
The one exception to this rule are Dutch Wax Prints, which would work for this pattern since the back is only slightly gathered. Remember to pre-wash the fabric to make it softer, and read our tips to sew with Dutch Wax Prints on the blog.
For version B, on the other hand, drapey fabrics are needed to create beautiful long sleeves. Rayon, tencel, lyocell and the likes will be your allies to create an aerial jacket that dances with your movements, as well as cotton voile and double gauze.
Be wary of loosely-woven fabrics, though, if you want to keep the collar notches crip and clean. For instance, the fabric we used for our pink sample is a lovely rayon twill, whose weave ensures a sturdier hand than a rayon challis.