Here's a close up:
And the back:
I might actually wear it now!
Since I've never smocked before I kept it simple. I ruled four lines in the appropriate place 1cm apart and used the stripes as a guide for gathering. Then I worked two rows of honeycomb stitch, following the instructions in my trusty Reader's Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing (aka my bible). I made a long tie belt, anchored it to the back of the pleats (on the inside) with a few hand stitches then passed the belt to the outside through buttonholes on either side of the smocked panel that are concealed by the ruffle. Here's a blurry close up of the smocking:
I didn't finish my Melbourne Cup dress yet, but it was so wintery last week I wouldn't have been able to wear it anyway. But here is my finished hat - sorry for the mug shot! Sadly I didn't win the competition - the popular vote went to the novelty hats - but I had fun anyway.