From the description on Knitty:
This pretty little sweater-dress is knit using top-down raglan construction for minimal finishing. Using a hand-dyed semi-solid yarn allows for some color variation without obscuring the lacy “skirt” pattern.
The tie closures were actually an afterthought, when I couldn’t find the perfect buttons, but they add charm and interest to the bodice portion of the sweater. If you prefer buttons, it would be easy to add buttonholes in the middle row of the placket.