Nénuphar is a “kimono-inspired” jacket more than an actual kimono, because it has set-in sleeves instead of sleeves in the continuity of the bodice (as is the case on the Arum dress for instance). Even though they are slightly trickier to sew, I like this type of sleeves better since they don’t create an excess of fabric under the arm. I think they give the jacket a more sophisticated feel around the shoulders, a bit like a blazer.
I had never worn a kimono until then by fear of looking unkempt (working from home is a slippery slope…) so that’s what I like about this pattern: I think it is a more structured and more dressed-up version of the classic kimono jacket. The detail on the collar with the notches adds on to this, as an extra nod to blazers. It’s a detail that is very easy to sew, but super effective.
I also like the gathers in the back, which break up the silhouette from that angle and most importantly make enough room for my butt, which needs a little more width than my shoulders. I think the proportions are critical on this type of detail: when the gathers start too low for my taste, as they do on the second version of the Archer shirt for example, I feel like they add volume instead of making room. I wonder what the ones from the Alder shirtdress would look like on me. Any insights?
As a whole I find Nénuphar to be really easy to wear, as it works as well worn with Safran jeans here than over a Givre dress. However it’s true that with the flare of the long sleeves, you have to be careful where you put your arms. I went out to eat ramen the other day as I was wearing it, and I got to say it wasn’t easy 😅
The fabric in which I made this version is totally vintage: it’s a soft lightweight cotton lawn I found in my grandmother’s attic. I believe it belonged to my great-aunt, or my great-great-grandmother maybe, I’m not quite sure. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone with this khaki color, warmer than the rest of my wardrobe, but I like the change. I thought the print was perfect for this pattern, geometric and vaguely folkloric but still subtle.
It’s crazy how much the fabric choice changes how this pattern feels. During the testing phase I made a second long-sleeved Nénuphar, in rayon this time, and the result is so much more casual that I wear it with completely different outfits. I hope I’ll get a chance to take pictures of it soon, as well as my Narcisse pants in striped linen. For now it seems compromised since I’m drowning in boxes for my move in a couple weeks (we’re going back south! Yay!!!) but I’ll do my best 😉
Lengthened by 1 cm
Vintage cotton lawn