Girl with a Pearl Earring

One of our commissions this fall was to interpret the garments in The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Jan Vermeer (c. 1665).


This piece was strictly interpretive and while we were concerned with capturing the historical silhouette of this period, our emphasis was primarily on color and texture and creating the illusion of the girl in the painting.

For the body of the gown we used a tobacco brown moleskin. It has the hand of suede or a low pile velvet and is satin backed. It created a beautiful rustic textured gown with a slight sheen. The shift is sheer white cotton lawn.

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Details include hand stitching on the bodice and pleated sleeves at the shoulder back



For the turban, we drew from Vermeer’s other painting’s also featuring the famous gold and blue cloth: As follows: The Art of Painting; The Love Letter; and The Allegory of Faith


Our interpretation is constructed of a light weight synthetic silk bordered with turquoise satin. I chose synthetic over natural silk so the turban can be washed easily when needed.


To add texture, I soaked the finished turban in warm water, twisted it and tied it off, and then dried it under low heat to add a crinkled surface reminiscent of the turban in the painting. The client will be tying the turban herself.


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About Susan

Hi! My name is Susan and I am a historian, seamstress, teacher, mother, and wife. My passion for history has manifested itself in the art of recreating clothing from different periods of time. Growing up in the American South, I am heavily schooled in the art of recreating clothing from the 19th century. After nearly a decade of immersing myself primarily in the Victorian period, I found the need to branch out and explore other periods of time. However, it is my connection with the American South and the clothing of rural America that continues to be the driving force behind my designs.