Thursday, June 14, 2012


I have been going to yoga once or twice a week for a few months now, and I have really enjoyed it! I go to a nice studio with a friend of mine. However, all these months I have not had a proper bag for my yoga mat- I have either been carrying it by hand or shoving it in a reusable bag, neither of which is an ideal situation on the streetcar and subway. I really wanted a yoga mat bag, but I had a hard time finding a pretty yoga bag that had a reasonable price tag. So I decided to make one!

I went back to North York to the Fabricland that was closing and I picked up two different types of fabric (a metre each) and a large zipper. Everything was 40% off, so all together it came to about $20. I fell in love with the outdoor fabrics they had, and I chose a heavy duty patterned fabric for the outside, and a fun cotton for the lining. The outdoor fabric will ensure that this bag holds up well in bad weather!

I had no pattern for this, so I just searched around on Pinterest for some inspiration and got to work. I knew I wanted it to be a little baggy so that it would hold my mat, water bottle, and a change of clothes (In the winter I have to change at the studio).

First thing I did was take rough measurements of the yoga mat and use that as the basis for my large piece:

I should note here that my water bottle was an amazing gift from my brother for my birthday. It is by Contigo and has a compartment for cards, a handle that you can snap keys onto, and is leak-proof. It is great for minimizing what I need to throw in my bag for yoga, and would also be great for working outdoors, so you can take some cash and your keys with you (though it is rather large, so I don't think it would work for running).

I needed to cut out circular pieces for the ends, so I busted out my grade school math skills and took the length of the side (which would need to equal the circumference) and divided that by pi to get the diameter of my circle. Then I cut out a square with that diameter, and rounded out the edged to make a circle.

It wasn't perfect, but a lot would be lost in the edging, so I wasn't concerned. I then took this circle and pinned it to three layers of fabric (another of orange and two of my main turquoise fabric) to make 4 circles, or two for each end.

Next, I got to sewing! I sewed 3 sides of my large square piece (which would be wrapping around the yoga mat to make the body of the bag). At this step, you want the right sides of the fabrics to be together, that way the seams will be concealed.

Then I flipped it inside out and carefully sewed down the fourth edge, tucking the edges under to hide the seam. I ended up with what looks like a fun pillow case!

I didn't bother to iron this as I went, because I am lazy. I would recommend that to make sure your seams lie flat.

After this, I sewed an orange circle to a turquoise circle, with good sides out. I did this so that they would be easier to work with when attaching to the body. Next I carefully sewed this circle to the edge of the body, keeping the seams inside the bag. This is was SO hard! I don't know if there is an easier way! It would have been cleaner to sew it in when I sewed the edges of the large piece together, but I do not know if I could have done that as that seems even harder.

The next step was to actually test it out and see if it my yoga mat would fit in my new bag:

It did!! So i got to work sewing my zipper on. I got a very long zipper, and it ended up not being worth it to sew together any seams along the opening. It isn't exactly rain proof this way, but it looks great. For the zipper, I pinned it on one side, then the other, slowly unzipping as I went to make it easier. Once all pinned, I totally unzipped it and carefully stitched along the seam to attach it.

Lastly, I stitched the strap on (just a long piece of fabric sewn together). I screwed up on the strap so many times and I really couldn't get it out I wanted. In the end, it is just sewn to the inside with two rows of stitches to make it secure.

Finally my yoga mat bag was complete! Is it perfect? Far from it, but I learned a lot and I think it is pretty amazing for a first attempt and having no pattern!

I can't wait to go to yoga and show this puppy off!

I just love love love the fabric too! Totally me :) I need to go to Fabricland and buy MORE!! One more month till they close- then I don't know what I will do for cheap fabric :(


  1. Great job!! I really have to learn how to sew...this is a great project!

    1. It actually is pretty easy! I hadnt sewn in almost 10 years before getting this machine and I picked it right back up!

  2. I think this bag looks great! I love the fact that it isn't perfect...I don't think any of my projects ever are! I had to laugh at the ironing part, because I rarely do the ironing when told to on a project. I absolutely love yoga and hope you continue to practice & enjoy it!

  3. Wow! this is amazing... it is always my dream to know how to sew, I really envious!!

    Everlin @


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