Before assembling the dress, which involved cutting the bodice now that the smocking is done, and then seaming the bodice sections to the skirt sections, I'm trying to evaluate if I should do a layer of stitches below the last tier of smocking coming off the skirt to make the fullness lay a little more like a pleat and do less of that 'spread' thing that smocking tends to do.
Take a look:
1. Smocking released naturally
2. pleat stitched down by a form of backsmocking
3. full view. stitched down pleats on left side, natural release on right
4. close up
I'm not sure but that the cartridge pleat effect doesn't make the horizontal line more pronounced and therefore less attractive.