The Creation of the Potomac Top


I am so happy that our beautiful Potomac tops have landed in Washington,DC at Julia Farr.

I know that you are familiar with the route they took, from the initial design to when they are hung up in Julia Farr, but I thought I would share the production process with our readers.

Julie and I started with an idea – to make an essential top for every woman’s wardrobe.  Whether it was fabricated in a print or solid, it would be a “go-to” piece that could be worn at home, at work, or at the beach or in the mountains.  That is a tall order for a simple top.

We knew we had to satisfy a few important needs – we wanted a top that was feminine, with a fitted bodice that falls gently around a women’s curves, but is not too tight.

We also wanted to highlight a feature that looks good on all women – our neckline and those marvelous bones therein,the clavicles, and that notch at the base of a woman’s neck – the area on Katherine that Count Almasy obsessed over in The English Patient – the suprasternal notch.

It was essential that the top was of an adequate length to be worn outside pants or a skirt, and not leave any unsightly gap between the top and the bottom.

Sleeve length was important to us too – especially  to Julie who has become our official sleeve moderator. The Potomac sleeve hits right in the middle of the forearm, to allow plenty of space for women to showcase their watch or beautiful bracelets.

Finally, we had to come up with the right fabric for the top, one that would work with the design itself and that was luxurious and elegant.  We decided on jersey, both in silk and rayon.

Developing the design is the most time-consuming part of the entire production.  We took our design ideas to our pattern maker who drew up the technical pattern and made a sample.  There were additional tweaks to the design at this point, but once it was final, we were ready to go into production.

The first step is to digitize and grade the pattern into the sizes we plan to produce.  The Potomac top is made in sizes extra-small through extra-large.  Then, they produce a marker, which is a huge piece of paper showing each one of the pattern pieces in each size.

The marker is sent to the cutter, who, using detailed patterns on the marker, cuts the fabric. The cut pieces go to the seamstress  who puts the whole thing together.  Voila, the Potomac Top!

I particularly love the green and white version with white jeans, which feels dressy to me.  Out here, in casual Colorado, I’ve been wearing it with my good old blue jeans.

Golden retriever is an optional accessory.


P.S. Now that I’ve posted my mountain photo, we need a beach photo from you!

Images: Julia Farr, Wikipedia,, Julia Farr, Ann Prochnow


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by | July 27, 2012 · 5:05 am

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