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Sewing 101: Yoga Bag

by Brett


In keeping with January’s theme of fresh starts and healthy resolutions, what better way to get motivated to exercise than with some new exercise accessories? I find that I have a better chance of sticking with new habits if I make them as convenient as possible, so having a handy way to tote my yoga mat makes it just a little easier to get to class. This DIY yoga bag is super easy to make (it’s really just a big rectangle with handles), and I promise that even a beginner can stitch up this project in no time. Let’s get started! — Brett Bara

Materials

  • 2 yards medium-weight fabric (I used cotton duck, which is like a lightweight canvas.)
  • 2 yards webbing or any type of strap for handles
  • sewing machine
  • iron and ironing board
  • straight pins
  • scissors

 

1. Cut and sew the bag body.


To begin, cut two pieces of fabric measuring 21″ x 27″.


Place the two pieces together with the right sides of the fabric facing in, and sew around all four sides using a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving an 8″ to 10″ opening in the seam to turn the piece right-side out.


Trim the excess fabric away from each corner and turn the piece right-side out, gently working the fabric through the hole you left in the seam.


Press all the seams flat, turning under the raw edge of the fabric at the hole in the seam, and pressing it so it’s even with the seamed edge.


Finally, top stitch around the entire perimeter of the piece, sewing about 1/4″ from the edge.

2. Attach the handles.


Cut two pieces of webbing about 36″ each. Pin each piece to one short end of the fabric rectangle, placing the two ends of the straps about 6″ in from the corners.


Repeat to pin both straps in place. At this point, test out the bag to see how it hangs against your body, and adjust the straps so that they are as long or as short as you like.


Stitch the handles in place by sewing along the edge of the webbing, from the top edge of the fabric to where the webbing ends. (Be sure to change the thread in your machine to match the color of your straps!)


Now all that’s left is to cover the raw edges of the webbing. To do this, cut four squares of fabric that are about 1 1/2″ larger than the width of your webbing. (My webbing is 1 1/2″, so I cut my squares 3″.) Turn under two opposite edges of each square 1/2″ and press (top right sample). Next, turn under the remaining two edges of the square 1/2″ and press (lower left sample). You’ll have a 2″ square with all four corners pressed under (bottom right sample).


Pin one square over each of the four ends of the webbing.


Sew the squares in place by top stitching around the perimeter then making an X through the center.

And you’re done! Here’s hoping a cute new yoga bag will make it a little easier for us to go out and get some exercise in the new year!

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