Thursday, May 19, 2011

yoga mat bag

** It's been an insane month thanks to the final few weeks of the semester and traveling. I'm home again and have started putting working on a few new projects. Until I have something really exciting to share I'm sharing a project I made last year. **

Yoga is a multi-million dollar business. I love yoga but I don't love the cost and I don't love feeling like I need to spend a lot of money I don't have just to look the part. I feel like a bag lady when I walk to two of my yoga studios. The solution? A bag for my yoga mat! I could have bought a bag for my yoga mat - at $25 - $75/bag!! - but decided to make my own instead. My bag took less than an hour to make from the initial cutting to completion and cost less than $8. I am very pleased with the way the bag came out.

I based my pattern off another site and made some minor adjustments to the dimensions. The original site said to make the body of the bag 29" x 17" but I added 4" to both the height and width. I've worn out the stickiness on one side of the mat and am now using the (still sticky) back side. Once the stickiness on the back disappears I plan to buy a new mat that stays sticky no matter how much I use it or sweat on it, so I wanted the bag to be able to accommodate mats that are a little thicker when rolled. I'm 5'11" and I often find myself hanging off my mat while my fellow yogis are firmly still on their mats. I knew that I wanted the bag to accommodate a longer mat (if there is such a thing), thus the added inches.

This pattern could not be easier - a yard of fabric, a strap and a cord for the draw-string. I used thread from the stash I inherited from my grandmother and the fabric was on the remnant table at the local craft store.
My yoga mat is pink. I didn't buy the fabric to match (because I am so not a matchy-matchy person) but it sort of does match anyway.
Step one was cutting the fabric. The rectangle on the left is the body of the bag and the circular piece is for the bottom of the bag. Cutting a straight line is a continued challenge and cutting a circle is even worse!
I ended up scrapping the hand-cut circle and using a serving plate instead.
I first sewed the seam the long-way. The original pattern said to leave an inch at the bottom and the top. I ended up not leaving any room at either the bottom or the top. The bottom worked out fine but if I make another bag I am going to leave 1 1/2" - 2" at the top for the drawstring.
I sheared the edges so the fabric won't fray.
It turned out that the dinner plate site circle I cut was way too big. Note to self: IKEA cereal bowls are just the right size for the bottom of a yoga mat bag.
The second step was sewing the circle to the tube. It was tricky but not terribly challenging. Slow and steady is a good mantra for sewing. I triple-checked before sewing that I had the wrong side of the fabric facing outward so when I turned the bag inside out the fabric would all be the correct side, facing outward.
Lastly I sewed a 1/2" pocket around the top of the tube for the drawstring. I was on a roll (haha) so I neglected to take pictures of either the sewing or the insertion of the drawstring.

The finished bag! My yoga mat is inside. It's a little long and the strap is actually way too long but I am pleased with it. (pardon the background mess - my sewing machine is set up in my "office" where I've also stored some boxes that I have yet to unpack)
I had to really contort myself into a yoga twist to get his shot. You are actually looking at my backside. Thanks to yoga I can almost completely spin my torso around so it faces my back.
I am really pleased with the way this bag came out. It's not perfect by any means but it was a really quick and easy project and now I'll look more yogi and less bag lady when I show up to class.

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