I chose a 100% cotton pink/red searsucker plaid for the pinnafore from this store. I did the last project with a 50/50 searsucker, and clearly like the lack of wrinkle better, but this resembles candy-cane so it'll be cute.
Cut 2 bodice fronts. They're just rectangular pieces with a width 3 times the max bodice width and length from mid chest to knee. They're 3:1 ratio for the smocking. Don't know if it's easy to see, but next step is to draw gather threads every half inch or so. I should get a real pleater machine if I do much more of this! This step is quite time consuming, but given the cost of pleaters, does a decent job. Just have to be very consistent to make each pleated row the same.
Draw gathers to desired 7" width and knot off each row.
This next frame shows where I actally started the first row of smocking too.
Voila! The first panel is finished (there are two, ah!...). It's a little free-form...no pattern used. It has highlights of the kiwi green that is in the dress material. Haven't uploaded a shot of that yet! I am also adding bullion knots (or eventually flowers) in deep red. She showed me how - her smocking is GORGEOUS!! Thanks!