As you continue to crush your New Year's resolutions, spend some time whipping up a sweet accessory to go with your new hobby or sport. If regular yoga practice is your goal, this week's tutorial is just for you! Emma Jeffery, author of Hello Beautiful, shares how to stitch up a colorful and functional bag for your yoga mat!
As the end of January edges closer, it’s a good time to reassess and reevaluate the goals and resolutions I set for myself at the beginning of 2015. As with most of the last decade’s resolutions, 2015 has a couple of fitness and well-being ones thrown in there, and this year I intend to practice yoga more often. I am, however, of the opinion that every new year’s resolution worth sticking with begins with a sewing project. Am I right? I’ll never be able to relax into my camel pose if I’m fretting about not having a nice bag to haul my yoga mat home in…Here’s how to make your own.
This bag is designed for standard yoga mats measuring 72" / 182 cm long and 24" / 60 cm wide.
Sew all seams with a ½” seam allowance, unless otherwise stated.
Cut the following fabric pieces:
Contrast print – 7.75” diameter circle
Lining – 7.75” diameter circle
Main print – 8” x 36” strip (Again, sew two 8” strips together from your remaining fabric)
1. Start by creating the pocket for the front of the bag. Sew the contrast and lining fabric pocket pieces together with right sides facing, leaving a 5” turning hole unsewn in one side. Clip the four corners, trim the seam allowance and turn to the right side through the hole. Poke out the corners and press pocket with an iron. Topstitch along one short end of the pocket, ½” away from the edge of the fabric. Pin the center of the pocket to the center of the 25” x 24.5” main print fabric piece and sew together along the sides and bottom of the pocket, closing the turning hole with your stitches as you do so.
2. Now that the pocket is sewn to the front of the bag, we can begin to construct the body of the bag. Fold the 25” x 24.5” main print in half lengthwise (so that the two 25” raw edges are together) and pin. Sew the two edges together with a regular straight stitch until you reach the final 8”, which needs to be basted with a loose basting stitch. Press the entire seam allowance open and unpick the basting stitches so that the tp 8” of the seam is pressed, but unsewn.
3. Pin the contrast print circle to the bottom of the main fabric bag and sew, easing your stitching carefully around the curve and being sure not to catch any extra fabric folds as you do so.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the lining fabric pieces.
5. Insert the bag lining into the main bag with wrong sides facing. Pin around the entire perimeter of the bag as well as down the 8” openings on the sides. Stitch the main and lining fabric together at the opening by sewing down one side, across the bottom of the opening and up the remaining side. Now sew around the top opening of the bag, joining the lining and main fabrics together.
6. Take the 24.5” x 8” piece of contrast print fabric and press the short ends in towards the wrong side by ½” and sew. Press one long edge towards the wrong side by 1” but do not sew. Now fold the band in half and press. Stitch a channel ½” away from the latest fold to create the casing for your drawstring closure. Insert the string or rope into the channel using a safety pin or bodkin, or do what I did, and sew the channel with the string in place and avoid the need for threading it through afterwards.
7. Pin the right side of the edge without the 1” fold to the right side of the top of the bag and sew. Trim the seam allowance. Handstitch the folded edge to the inside of the bag, stitching through the lining fabric only, with small stitches.
8. To make the bag strap, press the entire 36” x 8” wide strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides facing. Open up the fold and press both long raw edges in towards the center fold. Fold in half once again and topstitch the bag strap down both sides. Fold over the short end to hide raw edges and sew one end of the strap to the outside of the bag, going over your stitches a few times for reinforcement. Before you sew the other end of the strap to the bag, pin it and try the bag on over your shoulder to check whether you need to make the strap a bit shorter. Sew the remaining strap end to the bag.
9. To finish, insert the ends of the drawstring through a cordlock for easy and quick access to your yoga mat.
Hi! I'm Emma, and as well as working on the Fiskars Design Team, I blog over at hellobeautifulblog.blogspot.com/
I'm an obsessive sewer, often leaping into projects with more enthusiasm than talent, more bravado than skill and more good luck than anything else. This technique has worked well for me so far and more often than not, I make things I love, even if they're not absolutely perfect. And though I'm no expert, I have a passion for fabric, color and design. I know what I like and what I like makes me smile.