The artist would use the girl captured here in several other portraits of around the same time, such as Little Esmeralda. You will see her in similar clothing in both paintings, also with the same hair style.
William-Adolphe Bouguereau was well known for portraying young women and girls in traditional settings, which is found again here. She works on a small, pretty garland - perhaps to give as a gift to a sister or mother. Traditional crafts and activities made highly suitable topics for the artist's work, see also Young Shepherdess and Italian Girl Drawing Water.
There is a calming atmposphere in this painting which comes from the setting, a young girl concentrating on her seamwork whilst sitting outside in the sunshine. It is a pure, heart warming scene which is the secret behind why the artist has proved so popular. The artist himself loved tradition within art, something which made him unpopular with many other famous painters.
His approach, which remained consistent throughout his career, involved depicting mythological themes through a modern eye. His use of the female body is another hallmark of his work, and a skill which he developed from endless study drawings throughout his life.
Whilst those of other art movements would disregard his realist style as lacking in imagination, many in the art public and patrons of that period appreciated his photorealistic style. In the modern era it is perhaps easier to choose your own style without as much judgement from others.