This project came around with the accidental destruction of the yoga mat I have had for the past 6 or 7 years. During all the commotion of finishing, cleaning and staging our home prior to listing it, the yoga mat was a casualty and could not be saved.
I used the disappointing event as a positive and purchased a new mat in a darker color that won’t show every little mark, as well as one that was 3mm thicker (and oh, I am so happy for those extra 3mm!). However once the mat arrived, I quickly realized it was far too large for the carrying strap that I had made for the old mat. When I tried to re-purpose the strap, it turned out it was just way too small to cover the diameter and still have a decent strap to sling over my shoulder.
In light of the damage my previous mat had sustained, and since I had recently picked up two cork yoga blocks, I decided a small duffle-style bag to store the mat properly, and keep all the accessories with it, was a must-have. I looked up a few ideas on different sites as well as Pinterest, and finally developed the following pattern. The bag went together really quickly, and it is absolutely adorable!
I absolutely love this bag! Not only was it super easy to put together, but it’s just adorable! This fits my yoga mat, yoga blocks and my resistance bands with plenty of room leftover for a towel, change of clothes and even my water bottle. If I had more blocks or bolsters, those could easily fit in this bag.
(2) D rings
(2) Purse/leash hooks
1/2 yard pattern fabric (I used this floral & bee print that I had on hand)
1/2 yard complimentary fabric (I used solid black for the inside and bottom)
Additional contrasting scrap fabric for strap if desired, or use the complimentary fabric (I used some scrap red I had on hand)
(1) 24″ matching zipper
Tutorial / Pattern :
Cut the following from your fabric:
(2) 24″L X 9″W from both fabrics, these will be the sides of the bag
(3) 24″L X 7.5″w from bottom/liner fabric (the black in my photos), and (1) of the same dimension from your main fabric . . . take one of the liner pieces and the main fabric, iron these in half and cut. These will be the top pieces of the bag. See below
(2) 9″ x 7.5″ from both fabrics, these will be the end pieces
(2) 2″ X 1.5″ from your strap fabric (we’ll cut the actual strap later)
** Important Note: These measurements were designed around my yoga mat, which is the “standard” 24″ wide. However there are specialty mats that are wider. If your mat is wider than 24″, make sure you take those measurements and use those wherever I have written 24″, or your bag will not be long enough for your mat! The rest of the pattern includes a .5″ seam allowance on all sides.**
Start by sewing the two bottom pieces together. All the seams will end up on the inside, so don’t worry about doing anything fancy, just go around the edges.
Then line up the right side of your pattern fabric with the bottom piece, and lay the black liner pieces on top. Stitch together. Since this bag will be carrying weight and traveling (aka – it needs to withstand a good beating) I used a fine stitch on all of my work. Now you should have this:
Now we want to sew in the top panels. Line up the liners and exterior pieces, with the right sides of the fabric facing each other, and stitch together. You should end up with this:
I decided to do the very bottom of the bag in all black since it won’t show as much dirt or marks, but you can easily do this all in the same fabric, or use several different types of fabric for this project. Whatever you want. It’s an easily customized design.
Now you want to sew on the end pieces. Line the fabric together with right sides facing. Sew the ends to both sides FIRST, then go back and sew the ends to the bottom piece. This is an awesome trick I learned awhile back, and it makes sure your ends and sides are lined up, and you can hide any imperfections in the bottom seam . . . love it!
Turn the bag inside out – you should now have a box with top flaps. Now is a good time to check your seams and corners and make sure everything it stitched up nice and tight.
Almost there! Let’s take a break from the bag real quick, and get our strap pieces set up. Take the two rectangles you cut out, fold them in half and hem quickly. Don’t worry about closing the bottoms up, because they’ll be sewn into the bag’s seam.
Iron them out, and slip through the D rings.
Turn your bag inside out again. Line up the top of the end pieces with the top flaps; put the open end of the strap rings in the center, with the D ring inside the bag.
Sew up this hem line; when you turn the bag right side out, you should now have a nice spot to hook on your strap!
Only a few steps left! Now, install your zipper. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of this step. That’s probably for the better since I’m sure my methods of putting in a zipper would make the more experienced sewers groan. I’m still relatively new to it, although I’ve been lucky that my projects have turned out just fine so far! My advice on this part is to take your time, and think about everything and how it will look when done before you sew it down!
Lastly, the strap! Here is how I do straps . . . again, I don’t know how other people figure this part out, but this is what >>> I <<< do, and it works good for me!
First, I put the blocks and mat in the yoga bag, so I could test the strap length with a full bag, and could see how it was going to truly hang. I put the hooks on the D rings, and then used my measuring tape and two binder clips to adjust. To me, this method works so well because you immediately know what length to cut your strap to!
I moved the strap a few times until I got to this point, where I decided it was just perfect. I’m 5′ 2″ and with the hooks and a 30″ strap, this bag hangs right at my hips, which is where I wanted it. Adjust this until you get it where you want it, then look at the number at the back of the hold. You should make sure you folded the measuring tape enough on both sides to allow for you to sew the strap that way. It is also important to make sure you do this with whatever rings or hooks you will be using; in my case, if I didn’t measure with the hooks on, I would have made the strap larger and then it would hang too low once the hooks were in. Make sense? I hope so.
Cut your strap piece, fold in half with right side together, and hem the long edge. Flip inside out, iron, and then slip through the hooks; sew in place.
That’s it! You’re done! =)