The ornamental nature of faux fur provides you with a creative palette to design attractive handbags and some styles feature many characteristics similar to natural fur and come in a multitude of vibrant fashion colours.


Dimensions: 8″ high X 15″ wide [20 cm x 38 cm] with a 42″ [1.1 m] adjustable chain shoulder strap and trimmed with 7 fur tails.

Construction Method: Turned finish – this method may be recognized by noting the lack of stitching that is visible at points of assembly on the exterior side of the bag. This is possible by placing the material, or parts, face to face, stitching together and turning right-side out. It is the most commonly used assembly process.

Material Used: 100% modacrylic faux fur, 64” [162 cm] wide; 52% acetate – 48% cotton Kasha satin lining, 57″ [145 cm] wide.


You will need:

  • ¼ yd. [23 cm] of faux fur fabric, 60” width [152 cm]
  • ½ yd. [45 cm] of flannel-backed satin lining, 60” width [152 cm]
  • ¼ yd. [23 cm] of needle-punched polyester fleece interfacing, 60” width [152 cm]
  • 1 spool of coordinating nylon finishing thread
  • 1 spool of coordinating heavy-duty thread or upholstery thread
  • 1 spool of coordinating thread for lining material
  • 1 wide-toothed closed plastic zipper, 14” [36 cm] long
  • 1 nylon closed invisible zipper, 12” [30 cm] long
  • 1 metallic chain, 42” [107 cm] long
  • 7 metallic bead caps, 5/8” dia. [15mm]
  • 2 ½ yds. [2.3 m] of narrow stay tape, 1/2 -inch wide [12 mm]
  • 1 sharp X-acto knife or a safety razor blade
  • 1 roll of kraft paper



The draft and formation of this faux fur shoulderbag is based upon a simple flat grid, which fits into a square or rectangle, of which the size depends on the desired length of the zipper opening. There are no seam allowances used on any of the exterior pattern pieces.


To make the fur tail pattern, follow the measurements given and cut out paper pattern on the fold for symmetry. (ie.: the foldline is the centerline along the length).

Click on illustration to magnify

The draft and formation of the shoulderbag interior lining is based upon a simple flat grid, which fits into a square or rectangle, with self-lined patch-style pocket inserts. The pocket pattern piece should be cut out with the paper on the fold for symmetry. (ie.: the foldline is the centerline across the width).There are seam allowances included in the lining pattern pieces.


* DO NOT use scissors to cut fur! Cut one single layer of fabric at a time, following the direction of the pile (ie.: hair down).

Exterior Front & Back – cut 2X fur

Interior Front & Back – cut 2X lining

Patch Pockets – cut 2X lining

Fur Tails – cut 7X fur

Fleece Interfacing – cut a rectangle = 15” x 16” [38 cm x 41 cm]




Make the fur tail trim. Begin at the bottom end of the fur tail piece and hand-stitch a ladder stitch across the back of the fur fabric (a), working small stitches from side to side along the outer edges. Use a single strand of nylon finishing thread and draw-up the thread very taut every 5-6 stitches (b). Finish at the top of the fur tail with a few back-tacks and bury the thread end into the fur pile (c). Repeat 6 more times and set aside.


Tape the fur. Place a narrow stay tape along the perimeter of the fur backing. Use a single strand of heavy-duty thread and baste the tape along the raw edge of the front and back fur sections, with long stitches.



Make the self-lined patch pockets. Begin by folding the pocket piece in half lengthwise, with FACE SIDES together. Machine-stitch from the fold down each side using a 1/2” [12 mm] seam allowance, and leave a small opening at the middle of the pocket bottom. Clip ‘V’ notches in the rounded corners and grade the seam allowance. Turn the pocket right-side-out through the bottom opening and press flat. Slipstitch the opening closed. Repeat for second pocket and set aside.

Insert invisible zipper. Begin by aligning the zipper in the center of the shorter side of each of the lining panels. Sew the zipper in place using the invisible zipper application. At each end of the zipper, sew up the remaining seam allowances. (see Techniques)

Apply the patch pockets. With the lining FACE SIDE UP, align the top of the patch pockets to the placement markings. Pin/baste in place. Edge-stitch around the 3 sides of the pocket edge and backstitch at the top corners of the pockets.

Above each pocket, turn under  a 1/2-inch [12 mm] hem across the width of each lining panel. Press flat. Edge-stitch along the folded edges.

Fold each turned lining panel towards the zippered center seam so that the zipper seam is about 1/2-inch [12 mm] below the turned panel edges. Pin/baste the 2 panels together, with FACE SIDES together, encasing the zippered center section. Machine stitch the side seams through all layers, using 1/2” [12 mm] seam allowance.

To complete the lining, press the lining flat and match up the 2 folds that are created. Pin/baste and edge-stitch along the foldline to create the center compartment and set aside.


Sew the bottom seam. Butt the edges of two fur panels, with FACE SIDES together and align along the taped raw edges. Each panel should be hair down. Use clothes pins or large paper clips to hold the pieces to each other when necessary. This seam will be thick as the pile direction is running in opposite directions. Push any fur hairs that are sticking out of the seam to the hair side of the fabric.

Begin to sew the taped edges together, using a small, even blanket stitch. For real fur, use a thin glover’s hand-needle. For faux fur, use a medium (size 5) sharps hand-needle; and for either fur material use a single strand of nylon finishing thread.

Keep to the very edge of the two layers and catch the stay-tape as you overcast the seams together, poking any stray hairs that may be caught in the seaming. Avoid the temptation to trim them away with your scissors (it will create a bald spot). The stitches do not have to be tiny; just try to keep them uniform and evenly-spaced. Begin and end the seam with a back-tack to secure the ends.

When the seam is complete, lay the fur FACE UP and comb the fur to fluff it up and make the seam less noticeable. Most seams will be invisible from the face side if you tease the fur.


Attach the wide-toothed zipper. With the fur FACE UP, align and match the zipper tape to the top edge of the fur and center its placement. The zipper will be placed FACE DOWN on top of the fur. Following the same sewing method as before, handstitch the zipper tape to the fur edge using a blanket stitch.

Fold the fur in half with FACE SIDES (hair) together to form a “tube” and repeat zipper stitching on opposite side. Tack both ends of the fur on either side of the zipper’s length.


Sew the side seams. Begin on the side seam where the zipper slider is located. Butt the edges of two fur sections, with FACE SIDES together and align along the taped raw edges. Use clothes pins or large paper clips to hold the pieces to each other when necessary. Sew up the side seam with the same blanket stitch method in the hair down direction of the fur pile, sewing top to bottom. Push any fur hairs that are sticking out of the seam to the hair side of the fabric.

Once the first side seam is complete, reach inside and carefully open the zipper (you will need to do this to turn the bag out). Repeat the same sewing method on the second side seam.


Apply the needle-punched fleece interfacing. Cut a rectangle piece of fleece interfacing to size and fit it around the backing of the front and back of the bag. Use large stitches to baste it in place. Do not worry, the hair will hide the long stitches. At the top edge of the opening, whipstitch the fleece to the zipper tape.


Add the fur tail trim. Using a long needle and heavy-duty thread, load a double strand of thread and knot the end. Begin from the inside of the bag and draw the needle through the bottom seam of the bag. Place a bead cap onto the thread and pass the needle through the top of the fur tail, and back up through the bead cap. Fit the bead cap to the top of the fur tail. Bury the needle back into the fur at the starting position, (gently blow on the fur to find the original starting point) and draw the thread back inside the bag. Reach inside the bag’s interior and pull the knotted thread end and the needle end taut to take up any slack and triple knot the thread ends. Clip away any excess thread.

Repeat this procedure for each of the fur tails. Evenly space the fur tails along the bottom seam of the handbag.

Drop In the Lining. Place the finished lining inside the bag cavity and slip-stitch the turned lining edge to the underside of the zipper tape.

Attach the shoulder strap. Secure the chain to each end of the zipper opening with tight hand stitches using the heavy duty thread. Self-knot the thread and sink the thread end into the fur.

Gently comb the fur in the hair down direction to fluff it up and make the seaming less noticeable. Most seams will be invisible from the face side if you tease the fur or pile out along the stitching line.




Filed under Design Ideas

8 responses to “FAUX FUR SHOULDER BAG

  1. You have some great tips for working with fur.

    I am repairing a vintage fur coat. The back part of the sleeve (high stress area) needs stitching, the seam is split open, but I’m having trouble because the fur is dried out so when I pull the thread tight to close the gap, it tears the fur. I only tried 2-3 times and stopped because I didn’t want to do any more damage. I tried using some satin ribbon as a sort of backing but it doesn’t stay put.

    I know your blog is about purses/handbags but since you’re on the subject (fur) I’m hoping you may have some tips for handling/hand stitching fragile old fur.

    • Don

      hi A.M.
      there is not much you can do if the leather is dried out. My first suggestion is to cut out the dried area and patch it with new fur if possible. If you cannot do this, the only other advice I can offer is to reinforce the backing where the leather is dried out with book binder’s tape (or even duct tape) but it will probably only give you 1 more year of wear.

      • Thanks for the suggestion. Replacing the old fur might be too much work since I am unfamiliar with where to locate new fur. I will look for the binder’s tape and if unsuccessful, I will try the duct tape. It’s a beautiful fur coat and in great conditions except for this one spot. Thanks again for the tips.

        • Don

          Your welcome….it might be worth it to bring it to a furrier and get him to patch it for you if the rest of the coat is in good condition.

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  3. can you just sew faux fur like any other handbag I am going to make one today just a flat purse rounded bottom

    • Don

      For the most part, yes Benita. The main difference is that there is no seam allowance used on the faux fur. The edges are taped to prevent stretching then whipstitched by hand.

      If the faux fur you are using is a short pile you might experiment by allowing for a seam allowance and then “shaving” the seam allowance. This method is often used when working with shearlings. You would use a barber’s clipper and shave only the seam allowance to reveal the backing fabric (often a knit). Then sew it face sides together with your sewing machine. You need to be very precise with your stitching and use a pet comb to brush the pile up to hide the seaming.

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