I was inspired to sew a yoga mat bag from this post over at Bored and Crafty. I actually sewed it a couple of weeks ago, but had to wait til after my honey’s birthday to blog it, in the 10% chance he’d actually come here and see it. We both like to do yoga occasionally; I’ve done it off and on since I was a teenager. At the time, I was looking for some stress relief. One of friends bought me this book for my birthday and it sparked my love for yoga.
Enter cheesy anecdote: when I first got to know my honey, I learned he liked yoga. I took it as a sign; while it’s become much more mainstream in our society, yoga still isn’t for most men. I’m not sure why they don’t dig it (too feminine?), but he loves it and embraces its holistic benefits also. Knowing what I know of him now, it makes more sense. He’s a bit of a free spirit, which is another reason we mesh well.
The finished product, in all its hard-earned glory:
I chose home decor fabric for the bag, because I felt it should be made with a stronger fabric. Originally, I was going to use outdoor canvas or canvas duck, but what I found could not be machine-washed. For the lining, I used a Kona cotton solid. I took my fabric and machine over to my mother, who’s sewn since she was a teenager. Because the bottom involved sewing on a curve, I needed her guidance.
It turns out I needed her knowledge much more than I anticipated. Perhaps the blogger is way more experienced in sewing than I, as this post was lacking in some basic instruction. I knew the round part of the bag would be tough, but it was more challenging not having a formal pattern or formula, as in a geometric rule. Geometry was learned many moons ago, so I Googled the formula so I’d know at what diameter to measure the circle. We used a 7.25″ diameter circle for the end of the bag, and this allows for extra room inside the bag. The first stab at the bottom ended up being a bust without using a formal method of determining how wide the circle (=diameter) should be in comparison to the length of the sides of the bag.
Another tip with this is when sewing the strap onto the bag near the bottom, move it up several inches from where the bottom meets the side. By doing this, you will prevent the bottom of the bag from being lifted up when carried.
We also reinforced where the strap joins the bag to ensure durability:
I used woven, cotton ribbon for the drawstring and sewed a little tag on the inside from some ribbon my mother already had:
I could have easily purchased a yoga mat bag for him that would’ve cost a bit more, but the handmade gifts hold much more significance. I plan on sewing another bag for myself from leftover outdoor canvas, but will probably stick with a basic drawstring pattern.