Episode 513


Faux Fur Fun by Cheryl Kuczek

Learn the ins and outs of working with faux fur. 

Visit paradisodesigns.com to purchase pleather kits and hardware for the featured bag.


1/2 yard of exterior fabric (such as home-dec fabric, denim, pleather or vinyl; 7/8 yard if the fabric design is non-directional; or 1/3 yard of fur)

1/2 yard of cotton lining fabric

1/4 yard of coordinating cotton fabric (pockets)

1 yard of muslin

3/8 yard of foam or headliner stabilizer (See "Sources.")

11" length of 1/2"-wide silk ribbon (pocket trim)

3/8 yard of pleather or vinyl (strap & tabs)

Two 2 3/8"-diameter metal swivel hooks

Two 1"- to 1 1/4"-diameter metal rings

PTFE or nonstick presser foot

Size 110/18 leather or denim needle

Denim shank button

Rivet button

Coordinating all-purpose cotton thread (See "Sources.")

Cut It

From the exterior fabric, cut one 11"x13" rectangle with the short edge on the fold.

If using fur, cut two 8 1/2"x11" rectangles and two 4 1/2"x11" rectangles from the pleather. Align one long edge of each pleather rectangle with one long edge of each fur rectangle. Stitch using a 1/2" seam allowance, brushing the fur away from the seam. Press the seam allowance toward the pleather; topstitch using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Tip: Use paper clips or binder clips to secure layers when stitching pleather, vinyl or leather, as pins leave permanent holes.

From the lining fabric, cut two 11"x12 1/2" rectangles.

From the coordinating fabric, cut two 7"x11" rectangles for the pockets.   

From the pleather, cut one 4 1/2"x the fabric width strip for the strap, two 4 1/2"x5" rectangles for the ring tabs and one 8"x11" rectangle.

From the muslin, cut two 11"x12 1/2" rectangles and one 11"x26" rectangle.

From the stabilizer, cut one 11"x26" rectangle.

Tip: Use a rotary cutter when cutting pleather to ensure a straight, even cut.

Sew It

Install the PTFE foot onto the machine. If a PTFE foot is not available, adhere matte scotch tape to the foot underside. Using a pin, remove the tape from the needle area.

Mark the exterior rectangle widthwise centerline. Mark the large pleather rectangle lengthwise centerline. With right sides facing up, align the rectangles centerlines and edges. Stitch each long edge using a 1/8" seam allowance. Stitch again using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Align the corresponding stabilizer and muslin rectangles. Align the bag exterior rectangle over the stabilizer; pin or clip.

Fold the bag exterior in half widthwise, matching the pleather edges. Stitch the side seams from the upper edge toward the fold using a 3/8" seam allowance; press open the seams.

Fold one lower corner, aligning the side seam with the widthwise centerline. Stitch across the triangle 2", and then trim the seam allowance to 1/4". Repeat to box the remaining corner.

On the pleather strap wrong side, draw a line 1 1/2" from and parallel to one long edge. Fold the opposite long edge to align with the line. Edgestitch the folded edge. When stitching the straps, always begin stitching at the same end to avoid twisting. Leave long thread tails to mark the strap beginning.

Fold the raw edge to align with the stitching line. Stitch 1/16" to 1/4" from the raw edge. Stitch a third parallel stitching line, if desired. Stitch the opposite folded edge to mirror to the stitching. Insert one strap short end 1 3/4" through one swivel hook. Fold the strap onto itself and stitch 1/4" and 1/8" from the raw edge.

Tip: Use a longer stitch length from 3.5mm to 4mm when stitching pleather or vinyl, as a shorter stitch length may perforate the fabric too much and cause tearing.

Cut the strap to the desired length. The featured strap is 44"-long. Insert the remaining strap end through the remaining swivel hook; stitch according to the previous instructions.

From the pleather, cut one 4"x4 1/2" rectangle for the tab closure. Cut one 1"x4 1/2" rectangle for the button reinforcement. Fold and stitch each rectangle according to the strap instructions. Or use the previously stitched excess strap, if applicable.

Fold and stitch the pleather ring tabs according to the strap instructions.

Align one muslin rectangle with each corresponding lining-rectangle wrong side; pin.

Align the pocket rectangles with wrong sides together. Align the silk ribbon along one pocket long edge; stitch using a 3/8" seam allowance. Press the ribbon upward, and then fold it toward the pocket wrong side. Edgestitch the remaining ribbon edge.

Fold the pocket in half widthwise; mark the centerline on the ribbon and 1" from the lower edge.

Place the pocket over one lining rectangle, aligning the sides and lower edge; pin. Beginning at the lower edge, stitch along the pocket centerline. Stitch the ribbon using a satin stitch at the widest zigzag setting and a .05 stitch length.

With right sides together, align the lining rectangles. Stitch the sides using a 3/8" seam allowance. Stitch the lower edge using a 1/2" seam allowance; press open the seams. Box each lower corner per the previous instructions.

Insert one end of one ring tab into one ring. Fold the tab in half at an angle so the tab ends aren't overlapped. With the raw edges pointing toward the bag upper edge, center the tab ends over one side seam right side; stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance (1). Repeat to stitch the remaining tab and ring.


Satin stitch one tab closure raw edge. Stitch a buttonhole 1/2" from the edge according to the denim button measurement, plus 1/8". With raw edges aligned, center the tab unfinished edge over one lining right side; baste using a 1/4" seam allowance.

With right sides together and aligning the side seams, insert the bag exterior into the lining; pin. Ensure that the side of the lining with the pockets is on the same side as the tab closure so it's easy to access the pockets when using the bag.

Stitch the bag upper edge using a 5/8" seam allowance, leaving a 5" opening for turning.

Turn the bag right side out. Fold the opening seam allowances 5/8" toward the wrong side. Topstitch the upper edge using a 1/8" seam allowance. Stitch the upper edge again using a 1/4" seam allowance.

On the bag side opposite the tab closure, pin-mark the center at the upper edge. Pull the tab over to the bag front; mark the button placement as desired on the lining and exterior.

Cut a hole in the 1" tab-piece center. Insert the rivet back through the hole. On the bag lining, align the river with the button placement. On the bag right side, align the denim button with the button placement. Place the layers on a flat work surface and use a hammer to hit the rivet back carefully soit locks into the button.

Clip the strap swivel hooks onto the metal rings.


Bosal provided the In-R-Form foam stabilizer; bosal.com.

Wonderfil provided the variegated thread; wonderfil.net.

Products used in this episode:


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