Every Friday around noon I go to a yoga class... at least I try to go to this yoga class. When it gives me more stress to go than to stay at home, I don’t go... and I’m fine with that. Sometimes, our weekends are so full that I need that time to prepare, or I just clean up the house which often gives me more peace of mind than yoga exercise :-). But I know that it’s important to stay flexible and work those abdominals and with this bag, I can take my own yoga mat on my bike. I made a bag like this last year for one of my friends as a birthday present and she is still so happy with it that I decided to make one for me and share the tutorial with you!
There is no printable pattern attached to this tutorial because you just have to cut some rectangular pieces. Easypeasy!
Outer fabric: 35 x 35 inch should be enough.
Lining fabric: app 30 x 35”.
A matching 27” closed regular zipper.
Fabric in strips for the bias tape or 1.4 yrd premade bias tape.
Step 1: Cut the Pieces.
Out of the outer fabric and the lining:
- 2 pieces of 9 x 28 inch
- 2 circles with a diameter of 7 inch
Out of the outer fabric:
- A piece of 35” x 5” for the strap. You can also buy a premade strap.
Optional: For the bias tape:
- two 1 ¾“ wide strips, each 25“ long
Use a rotary cutter & ruler for cutting these big rectangular pieces of fabric.
To draw a circle, use a piece of cord with a loop at one end. Use the cord to measure half of the diameter (this is your radius). Push the cord down at the center of where the circle will be and slide your marker into the loop at the other end of the cord. Holding the cord steady at the center of your circle, use the pen to draw the circle. Use a smaller rotary cutter to cut the curved lines.
Step 2: The Strap.
Press a seam of the long edges of the strap 1 inch to the inside. Fold in half and match up the pressed edges. If my fabric is giving me a hard time, I like to use some seam tape for this job. This way, the folds stay nice and flat when you press. This time, I just pinned the seams with some glass head pins and ironed over them.
You will end up with a giant bias tape. Does anyone have a giant bias tape maker? That would also come in handy, don’t you think?
Now topstitch down both long sides. You can add some extra parallel decorative lines, if you want. To be sure those straight lines are nice and clean, I advise you to use a quilt foot with guide to sew along the edge, and a border guide foot or an adjustable guide foot for the lines that are further away from the edge of the strap. If your strap is too voluminous for a regular foot, you can use a walking foot. The walking foot is able to handle lots of layers, which will make sewing much easier.
Different presser feet for topstitching:
Step 3: Attach the Zipper to the Fabric.
Pin the right side of your zipper edge to the right side of one outer fabric piece and the other side to the other fabric piece. The coil has to face inward.
Use a zipper foot to attach the zipper to the fabric.
Now, pin the right side of the lining to the wrong side of the zipper edge, coil facing inward. Sew through the zipper ribbon, the lining and the outer fabric.
Turn right side out and press open. Be careful not to melt the plastic coils of the zipper with your hot iron.
If your zipper is a little shorter than the fabric pieces, you can wrap a little piece of fabric around both zipper ends and sandwich it in between the outer and inner fabric. Fold the 2 ends in and grab the zipper end. Pin down and topstitch this in the next step.
Step 4: Topstitch Along the Zipper.
Top stitch down both sides of the zipper. Use your zipper foot to stay close to the coil and stitch through both the outer and inner fabric. This way your fabric will not get stuck in your zipper when you use it.
If you want, you can add more decorative topstitches on your main fabric. I added some parallel lines with my border guide foot.
Step 5: Sew the Big Panels Together.
Keep the zipper open. Put your 2 outer fabric panels together, right sides facing, and stitch down the long end– the end that is opposite the zipper. Press the seam open.
Repeat the same step for the lining. Sew the long end together, right sides facing. Press the seam open.
At this point you have 'a tube’.
Step 6: Attach the Strap Ends.
Position the strap ends over the zipper ends, align the raw edge to the raw edge of the tube. Pin them on the main and inner fabric and stay-stitch both ends. Make sure the other end of the tube doesn’t get caught!
Stay stitch the raw edges of outer and inner fabric together. This will make it easier to attach the circle pieces later.
Step 7: Attach the Circles.
Make sure you cut your circle big enough. Too big is manageable, too small equals starting over.
This is the trickiest part of this tutorial.
Grab 2 circles, lining and outer fabric, put them together. Pin the right sides together. Pin every inch or more and adjust your pins until you get it right.
I use a lot of pins or clips to make this work. When I say a lot, I mean a lot!!
Sew just inside the staystitch, so it doesn’t show. Go slowly and smooth out the layers as you sew around the circle to prevent the fabric from bunching up.
Trim off any excess fabric. And repeat these steps for the other side.
Finish off the raw edges with your serger or hide the seam with bias tape for a professional finish. Make the bias tape yourself with a bias tape maker.
Here is a tutorial about BIAS TAPE MAKING. Of course, you can also buy some pre-made bias tape.
Your project is done! Now it is time to get flexible in a yoga class near you, or make a friend happy with a handmade bag!
Download PDF tutorial HERE