First of all, let me tell you how much I loved the original Bella from Chris W Designs. I have made many, at least a dozen of them, probably more. I was sad that Christine decided to retire the pattern. She later decided to revamp the pattern and just released it today as Bella II. I was excited to test this one.
I decided to use coordinating quilting cottons ( Purrsnickitty by Terri Degenkolb of Whimsicals for Red Rooster Fabrics) and combine those with a green suede for one of the front pockets and straps. I used smaller grommets on the front of my bag than what was called for. Christine suggested 13/32" ones and I used Dritz 1/4" large eyelets. Instead of ribbon, I made a 1/4" wide strap from one of my fabrics and wove it through the opening. Dritz also has 7/16" extra large eyelets that would work, too.
If you remember the original Bella, you will notice that the front of the bag is very different. The side pockets are gone but the front of Bella II has 4 separate slip pockets. The tab with the magnetic closure is gone, too. The Bella II is now closed with a recessed zipper to keep all of your contents secure.
The bottom of the bag has new bag feet. I ran out of washers to attach them and I had heard you could use plastic canvas. I loved how that worked. It gives them such support that I might try this with other closures.
The inside of Bella II is loaded with pockets. There is a large zippered pocket with a slip pocket behind it on one side. When making this pocket, I questioned all of the interfacing on all of the pieces. It seemed like too much, but this pocket is substantial and will hold belongings in place. I like the support it gives the bag, too.
The other side of the interior has 2 more slip pockets and a pen pocket. My pictures don't show off the beautiful strap back so I am including this pic of all of my exterior pieces before assembly. You can add a strap of one of your fabrics for that extra pizzazz.
There are so many possibilities for this bag. Click here to see the testers pics. You can purchase the pattern here. If you already have the original Bella pattern, Christine will give you a coupon code for 50% off that is good until Sept. 30, 2015. Just email her with the email address you used to purchase it and she will send you that code. What a deal!! You are going to love this one.