Here is the dress I'll be using as my model for parts of the 1945 Day Dress project. It comes from the KCI collection and can be seen in detail here.
One of the more interesting details of the dress is the honeycomb smocking on the center front of the dress. Last night I played around with it a little bit and came up with this. Now let me tell ya I had no idea until this morning that this embroidery technique was called smocking, let alone that it's embroidery and that it existed.
This is kinda sorta how I'd like the center front on my dress to look. I prefer the pleating and the smocking to the gathering the pattern calls for.
Here is what I had originally constructed using the pattern as is. It looks baggy and sad with just the gathering at the shoulder.
Granted I know I could have probably done a better job with this......but I didn't. So I'm not ruling it out completely for future use.
I found these tutorials that seem useful. They show two methods for the smocking.