homecoming dresses under 50

I have a question in regards to back smocked insert for a side panel of a dress. I want to replace a shir panel piece in the bodice with a back smocked panel. Instead of piping to reinforce the pleats, do you think that I can reinforce the top and bottom pleated panel with elastic? The goal is for that panel to be flexible. The fabric is 100% cotton with elastic on the top and bottom of the piece for flexibility. Thank you so much for your help. I am making a retro 50"s dress for my daughter for winter Homecoming. I would love to incorporate some smocking. homecoming dresses under 50