Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yoga Mat Bag Tutorial and GIVEAWAY!!!!

This is a super simple bag to make and I've been asked a few times at my Yoga class to do a tutorial for the bag so without further delay, here it is!
3/4 yard of medium to heavy weight fabric
3/4 yard of cord to coordinate your fabric
fabric marker
scissors or rotary cutter
straight pins
I like to wash/dry fabric before using it so any shrinkage happens before I construct the bag, not after, which could result in a wonky looking product!!

All seams are 1/2" unless otherwise noted and is considered in the measurements.
Measure and mark the dimensions below directly on the WRONG side of the fabric, using a yard stick or ruler and a marking pencil or chalk. Then cut out each piece along the marked lines.

 Cut 1 piece for body of bag: 17" wide x 32" long
Cut 1 piece for strap: 11" wide x 40" long
Cut 1 piece for outside pocket: 7" wide x 15" long

Make the pocket: with Right sides together, fold the pocket in half widthwise so you have a piece that measuring 7 x 7. Stitch the sides, leaving the top open for turning. Press the seams open, turn, press again. Stitch along the open end just to keep it in place. Edge stitch along the top of the folded edge. This will be the top of the pocket and will help the pocket look neat and tidy.
Pin the bottom edge of the pocket to the bottom edge of the body piece and 2" in from the longer edge. Make sure the edge stitched end it up. This is the top and opening end of the pocket.
Stitch just the sides of the pocket, backstitching a few times at the top of the pocket for some added durability. You don't want your pocket to begin to come off when you are trying to shove a water bottle in the pocket!!
Make the strap:
Fold the strap in half, press just enough for a visual guidance. 
Unfold, using the pressed mark down the center, fold one edge over to meet the middle pressed mark. Press.
Repeat with the other side. You will then have both edges folded towards the center. 
Now, fold in half. Carefully line up the edges. Press really good. 
Edge stitch down each side. It doesn't matter if you stitch the ends or not, they will be sandwiched and sewn into the body of the bag. 
Next, position the handle in the center of the half without the pocket. If you folded the body of the bag in half long ways, the handle would be centered on that half. Pin it down even with the bottom edge, then secure it part way up so it won't get in the way.
Fold the body of the bag in half long ways, matching all the edges. Secure with pins. 
From the top corner with raw edges, measure down 1 1/2" and mark. Measure down 2 1/2" and mark. 
Stitch all edges EXCEPT the top edges. Stitch down from top to the first mark (1 1/2") and back stitch.
Then begin sewing at the next mark (2 1/2") and back stitch, then continue sewing the side and bottom. This will leave a one inch opening for your cord to go through. 
Press the one inch opening open with the iron. Stitch it with a zigzag stitch. Mine kinda looks like poo, so do better then that!! 
Next you will need to turn the bag inside out if it's not already. 
Using a ruler, fold the edge down 1/2" and press. 
Then, using a ruler again, fold it over 1" and press. This is making the casing for your cord to go in.
Edge stitch around the top of the fold, then stitch around the bottom of the fold. I know I say edge this and that, but I believe it, along with pressing as you go, is what makes a product look great. Don't skimp on the quality of your own product. It's worth the time and effort. 
Now to complete the handle. Finish the end of the handle with a close zigzag stitch. Find your center (long ways) and fold the end of the handle in about an inch. Pin it in place, with the fold lined up with the bottom stitching of the casing. See pic below if that didn't make sense. 
The handle kinda folds in. 
Now for the cording. Just feed it into the casing with a safety pin, decide what your fav length is, hold the two ends together, tie a knot and you are done!! 
Slide a yoga mat in and try it out. Don't forget to add a bottle of water to your pocket. The pocket could use elastic if you feel so inclined. I truly have been thinking about it and maybe a Velcro loop for my keys. The possibilites are so endless and I'd really like to see what you come up with. Don't be shy. Send pics!! Also please let me know if you have questions. It's 2 am and I could have skipped something. 
I will be drawing names to give this very yoga mat bag!! Entries will be accepted until Saturday, February 05, 2011 at 9 p.m. my time. I will draw the winner on Sunday and announce it here AND I will email you. 
*All entries MUST have complete email address to qualify. 
*Anyone can enter, except my household members.
*To qualify to enter, you must Follow me here AND post on *Facebook or Twitter about this giveaway at 
***Post a comment letting me know what you did to enter and if you are already following me, let me know that you want to enter.