VELVET RUFFLE TOP (inspired by Lela Rose)

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A few years ago I decided I wanted to go to New York Fashion Week. Two years ago, two of my best friends went together and begged me to go with them, but the timing was wrong and with my little kids I just couldn’t make it happen. Plus, I felt like if I was really going to make the effort to go and leave my family and fly across the entire country, I wanted it to be really worth it. I wanted to be able to attend as many fashion shows as I could, and make as many connections as possible, and two years ago I just didn’t feel like I was able to do that in the way I wanted.

This year I was finally feeling in a position to really make that happen, and so I was over the moon excited when I had the opportunity to team up with Papyrus to make this dream become a reality. You can take a peek at what I wore during my time there right here.

Papyrus, as you might know, is a stationary brand. They create the most gorgeous and fantastic greeting cards and stationary, and although they’ve been a part of NYFW for a few years, this year they teamed up with two fashion designers, Lela Rose and Zang Toi, to make some incredible cards based off of these designers runway looks.

The runway shows are the most incredible experience, especially as a seamstress myself, but as you probably know, so many of the runway pieces are not really wearable in real life.

So today I’m taking one of the Papyrus designer cards and sharing a more everyday piece that I created, inspired by the runway piece from this Lela Rose Papyrus card:


I loved the ruffle silhouette of the Lela Rose Dress, so I used that as my base and instantly knew I wanted something with layered ruffles.

I also loved the color combination of purple and white on the card. I chose more of a berry color, since I thought it suited my skin tone better, and did it in a beautiful velour since velvet is a huge for fall. I chose to do the same boxy silhouette, and then paired it with white jeans to get the color contrast like in the card. I added gray heels and a low messy bun to create a really fun and trendy night out look from this dressy runway look.

I also love the way this top looks with distressed blue jeans, and you know I’ll be wearing it with sneakers!

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I’m sharing the tutorial below today. Click READ MORE to find it, or click here.

1 yard velour or velvet
1/4 yard matching silky lining fabric or silky knit

1. Cut your pieces. You’ll need a BODICE FRONT and BACK. Turn your pattern pieces slightly angled away from the folded edge, as shown in the illustration. This will create the full swing top. Cut two SLEEVE pieces along the folded edge, and then two BODICE LINING pieces (front and back). I used a nude knit, but you can use a silky woven (non-stretchy) fabric in a corresponding color.

2. Take the BODICE LINING and lay it on top of the BODICE FRONT with right sides of the fabric together, lining up the necklines. Sew around the neckline, attaching them together. Do the same for the BODICE LINING and BODICE BACK. Then flip them each wrong sides together, and your neckline is now finished. I love getting that out of the way early!

3. Now take the two lined BODICE pieces and attach them together at the shoulder seams. You should be sewing through four pieces of fabric — lining, bodice back, bodice front, lining.

4. Time to attach the sleeves! Lay your bodice pieces on a flat surface with the right side of the fabric facing up. Lay your sleeve on top of the bodice with the right side of the fabric facing down. Pin the sleeve into the arm opening, stretching slightly as you go so they fit nicely together. Then sew along the arm opening with a straight stitch. Repeat for the second sleeve.

5. Now with right sides together, sew from the end of the sleeve, up and around the armpit, and down the sides of the shirt.

6. Take your two ruffle pieces and sew up the sides to create a big “O” of fabric. Then do a wide basting stitch all the way around the opening. Keep your threads long so you can easily gather the fabric.

7. Pull the long strings so the fabric bunches up. Evenly distribute your bunching all the way around.

8. Now let’s attach the under ruffle. Pin it carefully to the lining, making sure the right side of the fabric will show up once it’s sewn and folded down, and then sew with a straight stitch around the entire ruffle, attaching it to the lining. Fold it down and press in place.

9. Now hem your sleeves, the bodice, and the ruffle to your desired length, and you’re done!

created in partnership with Papyrus
photos by rad and happy.


  1. Sophie Lachance says:

    Absolutely lovely! If I find the time to sew soon, I will be doing a top like this ; maybe in time for the holidays 😉 Thank you for sharing this tutorial!

  2. Dana Nicola says:

    Love this, the colour is perfect and the idea of taking a look and making it your own is something i just love!

    Dana |

  3. Carmen says:

    You come up with something very original, Merrick! It’s not for my body type but I love it! Also this velvet seems so thin, not the old thick velvet.
    Have a nice weekend! Carmen from Italy

  4. Natali says:

    Anything velvet gets me “sold” immediately!! You did yet another wonderful DIY piece!

  5. I love the way you have attached the ruffle to the lining and not the top itself. It actually adds more movement this way and it doesn’t pull on the top.

  6. Landen says:

    That color is SO beautiful on you! And a fun design! Way to go! You look lovely :*

  7. Epp Krusenvald says:

    Such a classy and stylish outfit! Love it!

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