Hey there! Bailey here. Here’s a tutorial for a bag I made last night. It’s basically just a tube bag, and I made it to store my cross-stitch Aida cloth, however it would be perfect for your yoga mat. The only difference will be (1) size, and (2) interfacing (to make it stronger).
What You’ll Need:
Interfacing (if yoga mat bag)
Sewing machine, matching thread
Rotary cutter & self-healing mat (or scissors + ruler)
Drawstring or shoe-lace (45 inches for 18.5 inch circumference, adjust depending on your circumference)
My circumference came out to 13 inches, then I added 2 inches so I could fit an extra roll and then 3.5 inches for a seam = 18.5 inches.
Then you need to measure the length.
The longest roll of Aida cloth I had was about 21 inches – the rest were shorter. I added 3.5 inches for the seam, for a total of 24.5 inches.
With an 18.5 inch circumference on the top, I needed to craft a circle to fit into the bottom. I used the formula C=pi(radius)^2 to figure out that the diameter would be about 5 inches. I get very squirrely with the fear of my fabric coming up short, so I always add extra extra! You can always do a larger seam allowance and then trim the excess.
I ended up cutting a 7″ x 7″ square to use on the bottom, but pinned it as a circle. That way I wouldn’t come up short no matter what! So:
Take your circumference, divide it by 3.14. That equals your radius squared. Then take the square root and that is your radius. Multiply your radius by 2 and that’s your diameter. Use that measurement + 2 inches to cut a square.
The tube of your bag will be your circumference = width, and the length (rectangle). Cut your fabric into this size rectangle. Then cut your square. Before we sew, this would be the time to interface. If you don’t know how, check out this tutorial at Make it-Love it. I suggest using interface and not fusible web or adhesive.
You’ll want to interface the entire rectangle and bottom square before you sew. If you want to do a lining, that’s fine, but I’m not going to include that here. Since the inside of the bag isn’t too visible, I wouldn’t be worried about it.
Then you need to hem the top edge where the drawstring/shoe lace will go in. Fold over 1/2 inch to 1 inch and sew close to the edge, to make a hole. Don’t forget to backstitch!
Next, fold your rectangle RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER so you can sew the long edge.
Make sure that you stop at the hem and don’t sew the holes shut, otherwise you won’t be able to put the drawstring through. Don’t forget to backstitch!
Iron the seam open so it lies flat.
Before we pin the bottom, draw a line along the bottom edge 1/2 inch from the edge. I have the salvage on my fabric so I didn’t need to.
Now we’ll pin the square to the BOTTOM of the top, right sides still facing eachother, wrong sides facing you. Start pinning NOT on the long seam so that its not seam-to-seam (stronger this way).
Work your way down the side of the square, starting with one corner and pinning as you go. When you get to the corner, flip it up so its a little triangle, and line up the edges. You might need extra pins here.
Go all the way around. You should have extra at the end, so we’re going to make a “poof” on the bottom that will add some extra room to the top. Your extra bit should look something like this:
Stick your fingers into the center to move the poof to the center of the bag.
You’ll have a hole looking at you, so we’re going to fold it down and pin it.
So now we’re ready to sew the bottom on. While this isn’t a sleeve, I still took the bottom off my machine to make it a bit easier.
Use about a 1/2 inch seam to make sure we catch all edges of the square, just in case the edges weren’t lined up perfectly. I still have the salvage so I had an easy line to follow. You drew a line earlier – follow that line.
Just go slow! Then we’re going to do another stitch right next to it, to reinforce the bottom.
Cut the edges off:
Turn the bag right side out:
Because we had extra fabric, you’re going to have poofs at the corner, and while they aren’t gorgeous, they’re functional!
What we have so far:
Time to add the shoe lace. I grabbed one lying around, and it was 45 inches which ended up being the perfect size fo 18.5 inch opening.
Clip a safety pin to the edge of the shoe lace and put it in the hem.
Find the safety pin and hold with your left hand, with your right hand scrunch the fabric down (to your left).
Holding the fabric below (to the left) of the safety pin, pull that fabric down so the safety pin moves through the hem. Keep going until its out the other side.
Fill with your mat/Aida cloth and you’re done!
Feel free to leave any questions, comments, etc. in a reply!