I first used the pattern to make my dresses for my daughters to wear to my brother's wedding last April. I made my oldest- dress C, the sleeveless one but without the bows/embellishments and added a black tie/belt. For my youngest daughter I used the pattern for dress C, but I added sleeves from dress E/F and the black tie/belt also.
I loved the way they turned out so when my sister got married 6 months later I made them both dresses for the rehearsal dinner. I used the dress C pattern with the dress E/F sleeves and added belts, but for the flower print dress I tried gathering instead of pleats.
So when my youngest was going to be dedicated at church and I found myself needing a dress for my elder daughter, I went back to my trusty pattern 2709. I have now done it enough times I started and finished the dress in a few hours. But again I made a couple changes:
Using the sheer fabric on the bottom I made a liner for the bottom and didn't have a zipper so I made it with buttons instead, it worked fine. I also attached the tie/belt a new way:
Instead of putting on the belt after the dress was finished I decided to sew it onto the front and at the side seams. Because the girls are little and they have less of a waist and more of a big round baby belly, the belt always rides up and even with tacking it in spots I thought this might be the way to go. I cut the belt fabric the width of the dress front and fold it in half leaving the raw edges open and in line with the raw edges of the dress top.
I pinned it to the top and sewed it into the side seams along with the back ties. The back ties aren't left open and will be free from the waist seam.
Now finish the dress by sewing the bottom of the dress to the top of the dress (putting right sides together) but keep the raw edge of the belt in between the two.
And you are done!