How to make a Yoga Mat Bag (that’s a drawstring bag with circular bottom!)

Yoga Bag The Stitch SharerThis is a step by step guide for  making a Yoga Mat Bag or a lovely round bottom drawstring bag. It’s also pretty handy for other things too like storing wrapping paper!

Ok, are you ready?

The bag itself is made out of 2 pieces of fabric – a circle for the bottom and a rectangle which forms the sides of your bag.

Step 1: Calculate the size of your fabric pieces.

Roll up your Yoga Mat and measure its rolled up length (60cm) and diameter (14cm).

Warrior Yoga Mat

Draw a fabric circle which is the mat’s diameter + 2cm  – this will give you a 1cm seam allowance. A compass or piece of string and pen can really help with this. My Yoga Mat has a diameter of 14cm when it’s rolled up, so I’m cutting a 14 + 2cm = 16 cm diameter circle.

Fabric circle for bottom of bag

You next need to work out how wide and long your rectangular piece of fabric needs to be.

The length is pretty easy to calculate. Length of your mat (60 cm for me) + 16 cm (for seam allowances and a draw string top).

For the width, you are going to need to remember back to those Maths lesson! Can you remember how to calculate the circumference of a circle? That’s right, it involves that pi symbol π! The circumference of a circle is π x diameter. For those without the π button on their calculator, π roughly = 3.14.

In terms of the bag this means:

Circumference =  π x diameter of your fabric circle minus 2cm (because of those 1 cm seam allowances), so in numbers for me:

Circumference  = π x 14 = 43.98 so rounding up this gives me 44cm.

Once you know the circumference (in my case 44cm) you need to add back in those seam allowance to get the final width of your fabric panel. ie, 44 + 2 = 46cm.

Phew! Once you know the measurements of your rectangle  (e.g. 46 cm wide x 76cm long) cut out the fabric.

You should have one circular piece of fabric for the bottom and one rectangular piece which will form the sides of your bag.

Yoga Bag fabric pieces

Step 2: Make a turned edge.

Take the rectangular piece of fabric and lay it flat with the wrong side facing up. Fold over a 1cm seam allowance at the top of the fabric (along the width) and press towards you. Sew in place with a line row of straight stitches to form a turned edge.

Turn over 1 cm seam allowance

Stitch seam allowance in place

Step 3 – Add a handle.

If you would like your bag to have a handle it’s time to add it now.  As I wanted a handle big enough so I could sling the mat over my shoulder I cut a long piece of fabric (50 cm x 16cm ) and made it into a tube. Each end was secured to the bag with a machine stitched cross bordered by a square.

Add handle

Step 4: Pin for stitching.

Next fold the rectangular piece of fabric in half along its length with its right sides together to form the font and back of your bag. Pin the side seam together.

Fold fabric in half right sides together

Step 5: Stitch the side seam.

Starting approx. 15 cm from the top (your turned edge), join the fabric together with a line of straight stitches (remember you have a 1cm seam allowance). Make sure you double / stay-stitch the start and end of this row so its nice and strong.

Sew side seam

Step 6: Making the side opening.

Use an iron to press open the seam all the way to the top of the bag. To make the top of your bag nice and neat top stitch the pressed seam open.  To do this sew down one side of the seam from your turned edge, across the bottom of the seam from one side to the other (across the where the fabric is joined) and back up the other side to the top of the turned edge.

Step 7. Creating the drawstring channel.

To make the channel for your drawstring fold the turned edge over again by 1 inch (2.5cm) so you can no longer see the raw edge of your fabric (it should be tucked inside). Sew along the inside edge of this fold all around the top of the bag to create a channel for your drawstring. It really helps if you have a “sleeve” arm on your sewing machine when you are doing this so you don’t end up sewing through all the layers.

Press open side seams, add draw string chanel

Step 8. Adding the bottom.

Take your fabric circle and pin it in place to the bottom of the bag. It may take a couple of attempts to align the fabric pieces so they match.

Pin circle in place

Stitch the bottom of your bag in place. It may help to create some notches as you sew to give your fabric pieces a little give / ease.

Stitch and notch

Step 9. Almost there! 

Turn the bag the right way out and thread a piece of cord or ribbon all the way through the channel. It really helps if you attach one end of the cord / ribbon to a small safety pin when you do this. Tie the ends of ribbon / cord together to stop them finding their way out of their little pocket!

Add cord

You’re bag is now ready to go!

Yoga Bag The Stitch SharerYoga bag with strap handle

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