After sewing frantically by machine, smocking seems slow. It goes even slower when I make a mistake and have to pull out stitches! My little girl is so excited. She wants to wear it now, I can't smock fast enough for her. The boring task of back smocking is a necessity that I dont look forward to doing. (back sm0cking ... that is when you smock the back of the smocked piece so that the pleats stay in place.) BUT, I do find it relaxing about as much I find crocheting to be. I"ll take a breath and try not to feel hurried.
My smocking teacher was Charlotte Butler, of ,"The Ghent Needlecrafter" in Hampton Virginia. The year was 1997, and she closed shop that same year. She had a beautiful shop and I used to drool over her creations. One dress in particular had little cherries shadow embroidered on a white batiste dress. She said all 4 daughters whore it, if my memory serves me correctly. My 2nd daughter was just a tiny baby. My first project was a christening gown for her. I use a pleater my mom bought years ago, a small Pullen pleater. I would love to have a large pleater to create larger smocked yokes.