Vintage Black Lace Dress Remake & Dorothy Perkins Giveaway!

Dec 16, 2013 | 89 Comments

I put out a little SOS on Friday, to get help with deciding which dress to remake for my annual holiday shindig with my college pals…

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

What to choose?

…and after tallying all the votes on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and direct emails, the winner was the black lace dress/#2!!  It only won by a hair though – the burgundy velvet dress was a close runner-up – but we’ll be seeing that soon!

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

Look #2

I wasn’t exactly sure what to do at first, but then everything started becoming clearer once I got out my tools!!

I started off by removing the seam keeping together the lace portion at the top of the piece to the actual layers of the dress.

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

And it begins!!

A bit of drape action started to develop, which I was really liking the look of.

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

Drapey, drapey!!

I was playing around with gathering the top of the piece when everything became super clear!

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

To gather or not to gather…that is the question

I cut off the top ribbed layer of the dress down the center (there was a non-ribbed layer right beneath it) to begin the “complete removal” process.

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

Top layer trim off!

Because this layer was stitched down at both arms, I removed the seams at the armpits (1), took out the ribbed layer, and pinned closed the area that was just opened (2).  I stitched closed the armpit (3) and was left with a beautiful new seam, sans that ribbed layer (4).  I have lots of ribbed material left over!

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping


Next, I removed the second and third tiered layer to the dress…

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

Layer removal!

…and stitched in place a new hem.

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

New hem

I took in the dress a little at the arms and added new elastic to the cuffs, so I could push them up,  before the piece was complete.

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping


I was in LOVE with how this dress turned out!  The lace is totally on parade!!

It was a chilly night, so I paired my dress with this fab faux furry coat from Dorothy Perkins (keep reading for a giveaway at the end of the post!)

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

Side by side!

A little lip gloss application, and the night was ready to begin!

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

Roadie gloss!

The party was in full effect when I arrived!  There were presents under the tree…

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

What’s inside????

…and even a DIY to craft!  The fabulous hostess with the mostest, TT (in the picture above with me), set out foam holiday stickers to be added to glasses so everyone would know which cup was theirs.  It’s the new crafty version of wine charms!

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

Party DIY

We took copious amounts of photos both before and after we ate.  There was so much food, but I think I spent more time taking pictures than actually eating!

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

Festive partygoers!

It’s nuts to think that we all have been friends for 10+ years!!  We have such a rad college crew.

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

So much fun!!

I wasn’t able to get a tree up in time at my place, so I took full advantage of the tree at the party!

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

Obligatory tree shot

Everyone looked so festive and gorgeous!

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

Holiday dresses!

There was even a gift for me under the tree that was a slight inside joke.  The movie (with Rob Lowe!!!)/song The Christmas Shoes makes the hostess and I totally sentimental each season when we hear it.  It’s SO sad and the Hallmark movie (I’m such a Hallmark holiday movie nut!) literally makes me cry immediately.  I have to start watching Die Hard right after to curb my momentary lapse in reality.  Anyway, we always joke that it isn’t Christmas until we hear that song and this year she gave me the book!!

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

The Christmas Shoes

To get an idea of how large the crowd was, we took a few phone shots that made us all look like zombies with red eyes.  Kind of tricky capturing everyone in a confined space.

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

This one’s titled: “Crazy Eyes Major Group Shot”

It made way more sense to take smaller group shots throughout the evening!

New Dress A Day - vintage black lace dress - thrift store shopping

Group shot!

We gave gifts at the party, so it only seems fair to send a gift your way!  This gorgeous navy quilted purse from Dorothy Perkins is up for grabs!

It’s got the Chanel-esque quilting with a fun chain strap that goes across your body – I love everything about it!  To enter, head over to Dorothy Perkins’ site, take a look around, and leave a comment below with one of your favorite items!  I think the blue zip around change purse is adorable and I’m loving this star sweater!  To give everyone ample time to enter, you’ll have until 12/24 to sign up!

Happy Monday!

  • Melissa

    I really love the cream and rose gold party dress!

  • HA

    Funny enough, my favorite is actually the Christmas Dinner Socks, they are awesome!

  • Mary Garrett

    The doctor’s bag looks roomy, but the purse you’ve chosen is cuter. Kudos on the party dress, found under all those layers.

  • Anna

    Floral print flare dress would go with everything. :)

  • Mary Graff

    Love the white bar front bag. Your dress looks smashing!

  • novelgirl

    I love the sweaters. The owl with spectacles kept catching my eye, but my favorite is the cat eyes jumper!

  • Kinsey

    Their boots are fabulous! I especially love the Chelsea ankle boots.

  • wes

    I love the lace embellished t!

  • Molly Corcoran

    Oh, your dress was perfect. I didn’t officially ‘vote’ for this dress, but I immediately saw the Marisa-ized potential in it! And yes, you nailed it!!!! You looked absolutely beautiful. Merry Christmas and thank you for another year of inspiration

  • Amanda greer

    I am completely obsessed with all things leopard print so naturally I NEED the faux fur leopard print coat please!! Sooo cute. The one have on is absolutely fabu

  • lovescolor

    The before and after pictures of the multi-layered dress shows your creativity. You have an eye for spotting potential which is a gift. I love the dresses by ALICE & YOU on DP’s site, especially the Petrol Blue and Royal Blue ones. The purse would be a fun accessory.

  • Ethne Hedren Denham

    Lovin it. I still would love to see dress #1 – maybe for new year’s! What you did with the neckline, and the pretty lace tights – really pretty.

  • Karen Bingham

    really love the dress with those tights. I like at DP the black pleated maxi skirt, Alice and You. Thankyou for reccommending I look. I just battled my way through town, and forgot I could just shop online. I think the bag is cute for summer with nautical stripes.

  • Kathy

    I love the IZABEL LONDON Beige lace smock scarf top. It is so feminine & delicate.

  • Ginny Blasi

    Oh my what’s not to love? All of it! I love all the silhouette of all the paper doll dresses

  • Laura Gorman

    Dunlop gold glitter pumps!

  • Mollie Widdowson

    Love the lace! From Dorothy Perkins, I love the blue pencil dress with the gold bar and the leopard prints scarves. To be honest, I love pretty much any scarf =)

  • Laura Davies

    For Dorothy Perkins, I actually love the cobalt metal corner crossbody and the tall red floral dress…

  • tracy i

    Wow, I’ve never heard of the Dorothy Perkins site but she has tons of fabulous items and they are very reasonably priced! the first thing to catch my eye is the I’ll keep you warm sweater. it would be a great conversation starter!

  • Ariana

    Your dress turned out great! I’m obsessed with shoes so that’s the first place I checked out! I’m in love with the Carmel colored Mink Point Strap Bootie

  • Grace

    I am so coveting the Tan Casual Bowler Bag. I used to have a similar style bag. It was my go-to purse for years before it wore out completely. I’ve been trying to replace it ever since.

  • Pam H

    I’m loving the blue mini curve bowler bag

  • taysha r

    I love the Black and ivory art deco dress

  • Desiré

    Beautiful recon! On the site I love all the fairisle socks. Right now especially the ones with the deer on them.

  • Ashley

    The Tan Casual Bowler Bag! I want.

  • brenda

    the black petal drape dress looks like it would be flattering to most figure types. the bag you chose looked like the best bag.
    the do over neckline is really unique and it leaves room for you to do some more fiddling with it for another look some day.
    Merry Christmas

  • Leah Siemens

    I really love the dress, but I just can’t stop thinking about how much of a pain it’s going to be to get those foam stickers off those glasses! :-P haha….

  • Sachi

    Love the orange floral tube skirt. its so bright and fun!

  • April Cannon

    That purse is amazing! I really love the DP Collection gold sequin shift dress even though I’m not sure I would have a place to wear it to—I’ll wear it to the grocery store if I have to!

    P.S. You are so, so talented. You inspire me to sew once I get my own place again!

  • Sue

    Never heard of the site but will be checking it out regularly. Cute stuff.

    Love the Billie and Blossom grey animal glitter dress, The coats are awesome.

  • cupcakemuffin

    LOVE this remake – that new neckline is awesome!

    I’m loving the Leopard mid round toe court heels!

  • Diana

    Great remake!

  • Lisa F.

    I just bought a purse from Dorothy Perkins a month ago and I love it! I think my favorites right now are either the wine lace midi dress or the black dress with lace insert. Can you tell I love lace? ;)

  • Aryn G.

    I am in serious need of a crossbody bag so I fell in love with the “Camel quilt bar crossbody”

  • Cara

    I have to admit, Ms Marisa– when I saw you starting the drop neckline I got just leeeeettle bit concerned… I may have been having late-90s prom dress flashbacks! But it turned out to be one of fav remakes of yours!

    Love the Dorothy Perkins site! HELLO new obsession! My two favs so far are the Tan Suede Zip Shopper bag and the Multi Tribal Printed Tie dress!

  • Ashley

    Great remake – so original! I love the “oatmeal sculptured fit and flare” coat. Perfect for my body type! :)

  • Diane

    Cute dress remake! I’d be interested in the purse :) I really liked the silver slinky chain necklace!

  • Magen

    I’ve been a fan of yours since the beginning! I’ve always loved thrift stores! I just checked out Dorothy Perkins’ site and am in love! Not only was there an amazing dress selection but there was an amazing petite dress selection! But I have to say the clearance page was the most impressive…. dresses & boots for 17, purses for under 14!! I couldn’t Ask for anything better. However, My favorite overall is the black and blush lace pencil!!! My only question is does she ship to Europe? My husband is currently stationed in Germany and I would LOVE to wear it to the Military Ball in March!!

    • Jennifer

      Hi Magen,

      Dorothy Perkins is headquartered in the UK, and yes, they ship to Germany. On the website at the top right hand side, change the country to Germany, and it will take you to their European site.


  • impersonatorlindsay

    Chunky silver watch is great.

  • Amber Castelli

    Black flocked skater dress,
    Black glitter effect mid court,
    Fiorelli black envelope clutch,

  • Jillian

    Ooh, I love the Ivory Embellished Pleat Dress from Dorothy Perkins…so gorgeous!

  • Carly

    Fiorelli black envelope clutch

  • Taras88

    I really like the Black/cream quilt bowler bag! Love the texture of it!

  • JennyRose

    I like how you made the lace pop more in the dress, and thos tights were perfect for it!
    As for the giveaway, it’s hard to narrow it down! I’ve got parties on the brain – though I have none to go to :-( – so I’ll have to go with the Black and Cream Prom Dress. Love that shoulder bling!

  • Jackie

    I am not which I like more – seeing your remakes or the reading about your fun, fab life!! You rock both!!

  • Connie

    Love the Mink + black panel dress. Tailored, yet flattering lines and feminine.

  • RainnKenyon

    There are some super cute biker boots on the site. A lot of cute stuff. Maybe I do deserve a Xmas treat…

  • Carissa Browning

    I’m so glad you [we] chose the black dress. I love how it turned out with the drapey neckline, and I adore the lace tights with it. Fabulous!

  • aprilynnd

    I am in absolute lust with the white block heel lace up boots! OMG.

  • sophie

    Who knew you’d find a nice drapey neckline in that dress? I love your re-design.

    I’m an accessories girl and love Dorthy Perkins’ stretchy camel leopard print gloves.

  • Rayray Cartucci

    I like the camel small dome purse! I am digging the giveaway bag…I like Chanel-esque

  • Melissa

    I love the Black/White collar dress

  • Kelly

    I’m totally lovin’ “Black lace print 2in1 dress.” Uber cute. It has some lace-but not too much.

  • NayNay

    I love, love, LOVE color-blocked bags in nude shades so I’m totally lusting after the “Blush mix zip wing tote bag.” So classy, so cute!

  • Miranda

    I love how kept the lace collar on your dress! and I’m loving the studded ankle boots but I’m always a sucker for something with a little extra edgy bling.

  • Lizajane

    I like what you did with this dress! I checked out DP’s site and found a nice “Petite black lace shrug” that I also liked.

  • Nancy.

    Love the bags–particularly the cream zip wing tote…but most of all I love your website. You creat the most amazing dresses.

  • Jody B

    I’m ordering the music note dress for my daughter

  • Danna Snider

    That is one of the best re-makes you have done. So great! I love the beaded necklaces on the Dorothy Perkins site. It’s all so cool though.

  • Claire Thompson Moseley

    Love the remake…fun and flirty! The oatmeal sculptured fit and flare coat is yummy!

  • Carrie Barton

    This is one of my favorites! Sexsay!

  • Patricia Mortrud

    I love the red quilt cross body bag.

  • Carla Manska

    The cream and navy lace dress is beautiful!

  • Lucia Green

    The Black borg collar biker jacket, my daughter would go nuts for this

  • Andrea

    Love the gold print v back dress!

  • Marilyn Cole

    The petite grey longline biker jacket is Fab-you-luss!! I want it!
    …….to wear over the petite dogstooth pencil dress or the petite foil bird shift dress. I want the whole petite line!!

  • Rachael

    I like the red strappy boots!

  • Jeanette Geiszler

    Love the blue dome stud tote – I love purses – one can’t every have extra purses or totes

  • thedashbadger

    w00t! So many sweet things! I love the grey shoulder embellished shirt best so far. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us!

    P.S. Thanks to you, today I learned what a “snood” is.

  • Claire

    Love what you did with the dress! From DP, I would pick the tall stencil print dress!

  • Sarah

    I love DP. I shop there when I visit my Mum in England. I like the

    Floral twist sleeve dress.

  • Lore Armoha

    That was a beautiful transformation!!
    From DP love this Billie and Blossom berry chiffon belt dress it looks so flattering… and I just want the Mink spot bunny onesie it’s so adorable!

  • Maureen Warner

    I like the red checked ballet slippers :) ..
    Luvin your black lacy parta dress!

  • Angela M

    I’m OBSESSED with the Pippa Dee red lace peplum dress at Dorothy Perkins. Ohhhh my gosh….I may end up buying it and making an excuse to wear it later haha

    Great remake!

  • mysteryflavor

    I’m all about sweaters right now and I love the fluffy polar bear jumper!

  • ambient

    Cute bag! I like the Black bead + chain necklace — shiny + industrial is always fun.

  • UptoSacto

    YAY and the new dress is big surprise! love it, love the lacey tights with it! once again, imagination meets needle and thread :-)

  • Celeste

    I really like the DP Collection Gold Sequin Shift Dress!


  • Erica Newhart

    That purse is SO cute! I would love to win it. Wow, I have to pick just one thing from the DP collection? Well, since I believe that the bag makes the outfit, I am going to choose the Fiorelli port clutch. I love the color and it looks big enough to hold all of my stuff.

  • Marsha

    I love this purse! I notice it also comes in camel color. I’m just a purse-aholic! So many to choose from! There’s also a cream mini satchel crossbody bag that I love! And then there’s the DP collection black oval bag! So vintage! Somebody stop me!

  • Strunkette

    Super cute stuff at incredibly reasonable prices…what’s not to love?! I’m obsessed with bowler bags so the Blue Mini is my favorite on the site. Though the Mono Waterfall Coatigan was a close second.

  • HilLesha O’Nan

    I adore the Berry one shoulder dress.

  • Ann Shake

    Wow, that’s a beautiful purse. My favorites from DP happen to be the tall navy paisley chiffon top and the gold glitter slant bar clutch. Thank you and happy holidays.

  • MrsBlak Fashion

    I love the dress makeover, it didn’t look anything like the original

  • sue

    I love the waterfall coatigan-so sweet

  • Mary

    Love your dress! From Dorothy Perkins, I like the black smart knee wedge boot–very sexy!

  • Erica

    I love the black riding boots and the pink sketchy floral scarf!

  • Lorena Keech

    The Coral chiffon wrap top is very cute.