Hinterland Hack-a-thon: How to Make a Crop Top

The Cropped Hinterland Top pairs perfectly with high-waisted skirts or pants, as well as over short or long dresses. Make a short sleeved version for warm weather, and a 3/4 sleeve (or lengthen the sleeve if desired) for a great option with high-waisted jeans or pants come cold weather.

Grab your Hinterland Dress pattern

Trace off the pieces needed for this hack:

  • Front Bodice w/ Sleeve
  • Back Bodice w/ Sleeve
  • Cap Sleeve
  • Neck Facing
  • Front Bodice Placket
  • Front Bodice Placket Interfacing

Note that patterns are shown at 1/3 scale.

1. Before you get started, check the fit of the bodice, either by making a quick muslin, or doing your usual adjustments. For example, I’ve made the Hinterland dress before, and I know that I’ll cut a 10, and make a small adjustment to the shoulder area. I would do that adjustment now, before I continue with this tutorial.

2. Top length

Now it’s time to decide how long you’d like your top to be. If you’re going to used the length of the pattern as it is in the regular dress version, mark the ⅝” seam allowance along the bottom on the Front Bodice and Back Bodice, (Figure 2) so you know where the finished edge is. Use little lines to cross off the existing cut line, (Figure 3) or simply cut the pattern to the finished edge marking. Tape some extra paper along the hemline, so you can add your hem allowances.

I recommend a ½’ plus a 1” hem allowance, so you’ll be marking 1 ½” below the finished edge for your new cut line. (Figure 4)

3. Placket length

(Secret tip: if you are using the exact front length of the pattern as drafted, you should be able to just leave the Front Bodice Placket and Front Bodice Placket Interfacing pieces as is! So you can skip to step 4.)

a.) Measure the Front Bodice at the center front, from the top to the line for the finished edge (that’s 1 ½” up from the bottom edge. It will be ⅝” longer than your finished length). Jot this number down. (Figure 5)

b.) For the Front Bodice Placket, add ⅝” to the measurement that you just wrote down, and cut the placket to this length.


Subtract ⅝” from the number that you wrote down in step 3a, and this is the length of your Front Bodice Placket Interfacing.

4. The Cap Sleeve and Neck Facing pieces don’t need any adjusting for this hack. The cut quantities for the pieces remain as written. The button quantity is 4 for the placket version of the dress, so you’ll have to decide if you want to stick with that, or go with 5 for your cropped version (or even 3 if you’re going super cropped!). You can lay them out when you get to the buttonhole stage and decide then.

Lay out your (pre-washed and pressed) fabric, and cut out your pieces. As ever, pay close attention to the grainlines as you’re cutting out. Transfer the notches and bust dart points.

5. Go ahead and follow steps 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 in the Hinterland Dress instructions. Skip steps 4 and 7. Complete step 8, then step 9a.

6. Hem

Turn the raw edge up ½” at the hem towards the wrong side, and press well. Fold under 1” more at the hem, and press well again. Pin in place, then edgestitch along the folded edge.


7. Placket

Refer to step 13 in the Hinterland instructions. Your interfacing piece is going to be placed ⅝” from the top and bottom, and ⅝” from one long edge. You’re attaching the placket in the same manner as the standard Hinterland, until you get to step 13d. Rather than leaving the bottom edge unsewn, you’re going to sew across the top AND bottom edges (like in Figure 41b in the original pattern instructions), to enclose the entire Bodice Front edge in the Facing. The short edges of the placket are both enclosed when you turn the placket right side out. This is why you sewed the hem before the placket! Continue on with step 13e, edgestitching all 4 sides of the placket.

8. Buttonholes

Refer to step 14 in the Hinterland Instructions. You’re going to be following this step, with one exception – you don’t HAVE to have your bottom buttonhole ending at 2 ¼” above the bottom edge. Because you have your finished length already completed, and you’re on the last step (yay!), go ahead and decide now how many buttons you’d like to use, and space them evenly down the front. I recommend 5 buttons, for the sake of visual balance and bust-gaping prevention.

That’s it! Pop on your new Hinterland Cropped Top and do a happy dance!

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  1. I did this a couple of weeks ago inspired by your insta post! Sent a photo of it on instagram PM. Love this hack a lot!

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