I no longer smock often for various reasons. The last few items I've smocked have been purchased as "ready to smock", meaning the garment is complete except for hemming. The pleats where the smocked stitches go are held in place on gathering threads which are removed after the smocking is completed.
An explanation of the process and my source for ready to smock garments (Meredith's Closet) is here on my previous blog. This dress has fewer lines (rows) of smocking so I decided to keep it all one color, using a pink that nearly matches the fabric.
My husband asked what if she doesn't like dresses when she is old enough to express an opinion. That is fine with me. I can paint a tiara on a football helmet if that is her desire.