Spacious yoga mat bag

Carry in style
I don’t know about you, but I’m often motivated by cute clothes or accessories. Maybe with a cute yoga mat bag like this, I’d have a reason to actually dust off my mat and head to class.

Most yoga mat bags I’ve seen are tubular with a drawstring. That works just fine, but sometimes you need something a bit roomier to hold your other items, like a towel.

I found this really cute tote-style yoga mat bag tutorial at Sew4Home, and I couldn’t resist applying pretty Warehouse Fabrics Inc. prints and coming up with this.


(Click fabrics for direct links for purchase at Warehouse Fabrics Inc.)

Henna breeze linen - HEABRN

Terrace breeze linen - TEEBRN

Cotton webbing - optional


I ordered 1 yard of each fabric, but then I decided I wanted to make my straps out of the lining fabric instead of the webbing. Since my fabric was striped, this didn’t quite allow me enough to match stripes. If you want to use fabric for the straps, I recommend  a yard and a half of the fabric you’re going to use for the straps. I like to use a coordinating but different fabric so it stands out — so in my case I would get extra of the lining.

Get one yard of the other fabric, a button (biggish, but no particular size) and thread.

The pattern

Please visit the tutorial at Sew4Home for pattern and instructions.
The only change I made was substituting fabric straps for the cotton webbing. I’ve provided instructions below.

As for cutting: If you’re making your own straps, here’s what I recommend: You need a long piece. I drew a 6″x27″ rectangle on paper that equaled half of the strap. Ideally, you’d cut this on a fold to avoid having two pieces you have to sew in the center of the strap. I didn’t have this luxury, as I explained above. If you have enough fabric, lay it out with selvage edges together and cut your two bag pieces with long edge parallel to selvage and the fold. Lay your strap piece with a short edge on the fold. Cut two of these.

If you find yourself short on fabric, there’s enough leftover just from cutting the side pieces, but you’ll have to cut two pieces and make a seam, the way I did. Scroll down for more.

The process

Matching straps
I wanted straps made from the lining fabric instead of using cotton webbing. Since this was an afterthought, I found I didn’t have enough fabric to do it the way I wanted.
Sew strap pieces I cut four 6″x27″ pieces from my lining fabric (I wanted to use a fabric that contrasted with my outer fabric). NOTE: If you have enough fabric, cut TWO on the fold instead of four not on the fold. I didn’t get to match stripes. At this point I questioned whether I should give up and use webbing or just use the outer fabric, though it would sort of blend in. At least there would be no matching, though, with that one.

I was stubborn and decided I’d rather have mismatched stripes. You don’t have to have this problem if you see my instructions under “Supplies” and “The Pattern” above.

If you did use two smaller pieces instead of cutting on the fold, sew them together like so.

Make non-turn strap
Now you’ll make two long non-turn straps. I have a separate tutorial on this, since you all know I hate turning straps. I’ll briefly explain here, but please visit the tutorial if you need more help.

Basically, fold once in center (lengthwise) and press. Then open up and fold each raw edge to the center (left), fold in again on itself and press again. Now you’ll have one folded side and one open side, but all raw edges are encased.

Top stitch
Top stitch both sides of the strap, starting with the open side. Top stitching the fold side is just for pretty.

Everything else I did exactly as explained in the Sew4Home tutorial, so hop on over there and make yourself a very motivating yoga mat tote.

Other views

(Click for bigger views)


Close up

Inside and outside