It’s the New Year, and whether you've made a resolution to get more active, centered and flexible, or whether you just keep losing your yoga mat—like my boyfriend—I've got the project for you!
My partner Tyler has been doing yoga at the YMCA for a few months now. He borrowed my mat in the beginning (which I certainly wasn’t using) and promptly left it behind in the change room. Great. I figured if he had a bag to carry his mat—that could also carry his membership card, keys, and water bottle—he would be less likely to misplace it. We looked around the mall for a suitable bag, but nothing seemed to satisfy all his needs. I looked online as well, but instead of finding what he needed, I found inspiration!
I ended up creating a yoga mat bag for him which includes a drawstring top, zippered pocket for his keys and membership card, and a handy water bottle pocket so he could have all his gear in tow. I was so pleased with how it turned out, I wanted to share the process with you!
This is going to be a pretty big post with lots of instructions, so I plan on sharing it over the course of 3 days – like a mini sew-along! On the first day (today), we'll go over supplies, cut lists, and making the straps. On the second day, we'll make and attach the pockets, and on the last day we'll assemble the bag!
While I wasn’t physically on the mat, I still managed to stretch my math, geometry, and sewing muscles while creating this bag. I had a lot of fun making it, and hopefully Tyler appreciates the work and takes special care not to lose it! 😜
Ok, enough blabbity blah, lets jump in. Starting with supplies.
For this bag you will need the following:
- Approximately 24” of sturdy fabric such as canvas, denim, cotton duck, or a heavier weight muslin. I used a 6.3 oz hemp organic cotton muslin in Olive Green. Please note, more fabric may be required for matching prints or stripes. If your fabric is 45” wide, you'll need ¾ of a yard, and you'll have to cut your straps in 2 pieces
- Approximately 24” of drawstring (I used a boot lace I had lying around that was too short for my boots!) You can also make your own in matching (or contrasting!) fabric using this tutorial from DIYB Club
- 7” (or longer) zipper
- 7” of 1/2” wide elastic
- One square D ring and slider set
- Matching thread
- Denim needle for heavier fabric
Aside from a basic sewing kit, you aren’t going to need any fancy tools to make this bag—although a quilting ruler and a rotary cutter certainly make cutting out all the pattern pieces easier since most of them are square!
If you have a compass, this will help you draw out your circle for the bottom, but if you don’t, I’ve included a printable pattern piece for the bottom here. *Make sure to print the bottom piece with NO scaling.
You'll need the following pieces from the cutting list below to make this bag. Of course, the pockets are optional, but they really bring this project to the next level, and allow you to bring everything you need with you to class, so I highly recommend them. The pockets are also a great opportunity to have some fun with contrasting fabrics!
I've included a printable cutting check-list and cutting layout here.
Body – W: 17 ½” x H: 29”
Bottom – 6 ¼” diameter circle
Strap – W: 3” x L: 50” or 2 @ W: 3” x L: 25 ½”
Zipper pocket top –W: 7 ½” x H: 3”
Zipper pocket bottom – W: 7 ½” x H: 6”
Water bottle pocket – W: 10” x H: 10”
Zipper tabs - 2 @ W: 1 ¼” x L: 1 ½”
Now that your fabric is all cut out, let’s start with something easy: the strap. I like to sew the strap first and get it out of the way.
If you cut 2 pieces for your strap, you're going to want to sew them right sides together along one short end using a ½” seam allowance. This will give you one long strap that will now measure 3” x 50”.
- Fold in both long edges to the wrong side by ½” and iron them in place.
- Fold the entire strap in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press.
- Topstitch approximately 1/8” to the inside along each edge.
- Cut a 3” piece from your finished strap, and set both pieces aside for now. We'll come back to them in the assembly stage.
That’s it for now! Sometimes cutting out all the fabric feels like half the battle, so pat yourself on the back, and give yourself a good tricep stretch in the process.
In the next post, we'll tackle the pockets.
See you then! xoM