How can I reuse or recycle pretty synthetic lingerie?

Over on The Really Good Life, we’re in the middle of a decluttering month, with the hope of developing a general habit of asking “do we need or even want this?” rather than getting blind to things that have been on shelves for years. I’m also setting a weekly mini-challenge to focus our attention on specific areas: this week has been often overlooked spots in the wardrobe. We remember to sort through our shirts or jumpers regularly, but what about smaller things?

As I’ve already said, I got rid of a whole load of old trainer socks a couple of months ago. Around the same time, I also got rid of about twenty pairs of old knickers that had been cluttering up my underwear drawer – ones that no longer fitted properly or I didn’t like the style any more, but previously couldn’t bring them to throw them away because … well, I’m not very good at throwing anything away.

The other day, as part of the mini-challenge, I continued on that theme: I got rid of some old tights (well, moved them into my craft stash for some reuse), put aside some barely worn bras for eBay, sent a couple of pairs of unworn pyjamas to the charity shop and found a few “silky” things – pretty camisole sets – from years ago that I no longer wear. It’s all made out of synthetic fabric too, so even if I could fit into it now, I wouldn’t be able to wear it because synthetics make me sweat unattractive amount of sweat and that’s not a good thing with lingerie!

One set still had the tags on it (sigh) so I’ll give that to a charity shop as they should be able to sell it on but I don’t know whether they’d be particularly interested in the rest, so I’m imagining it might be better to think of other reuses for them.

The fabric is all light & floaty: some opaque, some lighter than that and some are patterned, others plain black. I very much like some of the abstract floral patterns – which is why I bought them in the first place – but they’re too light and flimsy for the type of crafts I usually do (I’m all about the practical these days and I don’t think they’ll make a very good shopping bag or anything like that). I could just add them to my fabric stash on the off-chance I’ll need them for something in the future, but that doesn’t seem very in the decluttering spirit, just shifting the problem somewhere else!

So any ideas for reuses? Know of any specific craft projects that would make it worth my while keeping them in my stash? Any more practical reuses?

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11 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle pretty synthetic lingerie?”

  1. lovelygrey says:

    Pretty gift bags for jewellery perhaps?

  2. My scrapstore often has the samples (bits of the materials stapled to card – not made up garments) from a local lingerie company on offer and I always grab them as they are great for using for my business cards. You can see an example of them here Those type of fabrics sew really well to card so you might be able to use them in card making, bookmarks etc.

  3. carol says:

    They are great to recycle into doll clothes. Little girls love that

  4. wong wear says:

    1 Line fabric bags that you are making. Bright colours are far better than black for linings.

    2 Sometimes I find a top is a bit low in the front. I have often sewn in a lingerie trim of lace to fill in the space. It isn’t hot and sticky like wearing synthetic underwear.

    3. For children’s night wear just sew some lace and a bit of fabric on for trim over the more comfortable cotton fabric of the nightie.

    4 Sew on old or new towels for decoration or as part of a hook for hanging them up.

    5 Make an evening bag.

    6 At least save the lace and reuse that on new or existing garments.

  5. Medeea says:

    Turn them into gift bags, to replace the wrapping paper.

  6. Trish says:

    Make fragrance satchels out of them. If you make them zip up or tie up with a cord, you’ll be able to refill them too.

  7. carol says:

    Good one Trish!

  8. Ann says:

    If they are little and filmy, you could make them into small bags for supermarket shopping – not the carrier bags, but lightweight ones for bulk purchases, vegetables, breadrolls, etc. Then you don’t have to stock up on those plastic bags that we don’t want or need!

  9. Alta says:

    Use the fabric to make the back and “handle” for large hand-made powder puffs. Trim or lace can be used on the “handle” but not too near the puff-part, unless it’s not at all rough or scratchy.

  10. Mardel Rick says:

    You can use them to make doilies,crochet around the lace with thin yarn. The lace part can be used for crafts as snow flakes too.

  11. emkaye says:

    I think pretty lingerie is great for sewing some special Barbie-Princesslike-Dresses! I did that years ago, and depending on the sewing skills they can look absolutely gorgeous! They can be embellished with little pearls, or whatever you have on hand…
    They could also be used as curtains for Dollhouses.
    Or make some Tree-Ornaments…
    Potpourri Sachets for your Bedroom, your Armoire (lavender, rose, orange, …)

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