Altering a Second Hand Merino Top DIY | Sustainable Frugal Minimalist Wardrobe

With all the decluttering I have done in recent years, I have learnt that every single item I own must have a purpose. If an item does not get a lot of use, I end up removing it from my life.

Up until my most recent declutter, I had a couple of merino tops that I kept as layers for cold weather. They were black, and as a result they collected cat fur. It frustrated me that they always looked dirty. In addition, they both had a tight fit. I don’t like wearing tight things, especially on top, as they make my small upper body seem even smaller. For these reasons, I barely ever wore them, and they needed to go.

I’ve been looking for a v-neck merino top to replace these for some time now. I wanted a v-neck, with a loose cut in a mid saturation colour.

Recently, while second hand shopping, I found a merino top that matched these criteria, though it was too large. Seeing as the purchase price was less than $10, I decided to take it home and alter it.


I knew the item was of a good quality, because of the limited pilling. I shaved off the light pilling in the armpit areas with my lint shaver first.

To make this top fit me, I essentially needed to narrow and shorten the sleeves. I wanted to leave it loose in the body and armpit area.

Please note, the steps I describe make this a very simple, no fuss alteration. There are ways to make this alteration more durable and professional, but I am giving you the easy version. Here is my Altering a Merino Knit DIY. You can find it on my resources page, along with other helpful documents.


I am very happy with the results. I have been able to fill a gap in my wardrobe at a very low price, all while saving a high quality item from a life of obscurity in a second hand shop.

Below is my video about this process.

Check out my YouTube channel for new videos about minimalism every week. Follow me on Instagram, where I record my minimalist outfits. Check me out on Facebook for resources and updates. I also have a Patreon account, where I post additional content weekly. Patreon subscribers receive a number of benefits, including additional weekly content, early access, and discount in the Small Wardrobe shop.



  1. this was so helpful, thank you!
    also thanks for stopping by and liking my post, means a lot. ( ‘’ just in case you forgot) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you’re merino sweater DIY is clever. I must apologize for not looking more closely at your blog sooner. You had kindly commented on my post “Polyester Rant” at Keep up the good work on sustainability; it’s an important issue. Sincerely, Valerie. (I’m now on Instagram)

    Liked by 1 person

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