I finished my smocked skirt yesterday, stitching up the sides and hemming it, attaching a strip of bias tape to the waistline, adding a zipper. I'm very happy with it, though it's still too cold to wear, I think (in spite of camellia evidence).
This skirt is from a different Japanese craft book than the bag and the apron; this one is ISBN 4-277-31151-2. But basically, this skirt is simple — just measure your waist and cut two panels using that measurement as the width, one for front, one for back. Then smock them all the way across the top for about four inches; my pattern gathers the 1/4" gingham fabric to about half of what I started with, but it's not exact, so I made sure to remeasure each panel before stitching up the side seams and putting in the zipper.
Then I just zoomed around the top and attached a strip of purchased bias tape for the waist band. You could add a regular waistband here, too; that's how it was in the book. But I hate it when those things fold over (ahem) when I'm wearing them (ahem) so this little strip is fine. What I noticed when I tried it on is that it really had to fit kind of high on my waist to look right. I wound up having to take it in a little more before adding the bias tape to finish. It's not a hip-hugger skirt, it's more like a dancing skirt. It will also make your can look huge. Huger.
The embroidery across the bottom is a classic thing called Chicken Scratch you see on a lot of vintage gingham aprons and sundresses and stuff like that. It's just three strands of white floss, and straight stitches; to make what looks like white circles, you make sort of an open-cross shape with a white square in the middle, then go under each leg of the cross, around in a spiral, twice. For such a simple treatment, I think it looks so pretty. If you do this, I would definitely wait to do the embroidery until you are sure you've got the side seams right; since I had to take the skirt in further, after I put the zipper in (whoops), my embroidery is a bit off center. You can't really tell since it's all so gathered, but I'd do it differently next time. Welcome to Alicia's Smocking Blog! I know, right?