Once upon a time I would have bought Imperial Batiste and gathered the fabric on my own smocking pleater.
Thank goodness I discovered Meredith's Closet, an Etsy shop of ready to smock items. I order a 12 month size dress in a color called Butter. I pulled out my stash of long unused smocking designs which are called 'plates' rather than patterns. This is not the design I used, but is a sample of what a plate looks like.
Before I could begin to smock, the center of all those pleats had to be found. Each pin represents 10 pleats. The threads you see are gathering threads, usually quilting weight threads that are tied off on either side of the area to be smocked.
The color is a bit off (too strong) in this photo, but shows the completed dress with a deep hem which is traditional in these dresses.
The that I made to accompany this gift was another tri-shutter card. I seem to be stuck on them lately but they have been turning out well and use a variety of cute scraps and embellishments.