I learned to smock before my first child was born - almost 30 years ago. I took some classes at a local yarn & craft store and instantly fell in love with smocking.
Smocking is a dying art and is not as popular as it was at one time and is hard to find smocking supplies. I kept all the little dresses I made over the years and recently took them out of storage in hopes the grand daughters may wear them.
I made a number of dresses. Having two daughters a couple of years apart I sometimes smocked dresses in the same fabric, but different designs. Those were the days when they wanted to dress alike.
I didn't own a pleater, and would either pin sheets of dots or iron on the dots to pick up the pleats.
Perhaps one day the art of smocking will become popular again.