Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pillow Case Yoga Bag -Sew it yourself for $0

As one of my New Year's Resolution, I vowed to start exercising. I know it is not a very original resolution, but after having an extremely serious bout of pneumonia a few months ago, I was informed I had scarring on my lungs. I had to start exercising just so I could teach my lungs to take deep breaths again and to stretch out some of the scar tissue. 
Well my wonderful sister-in-law convinced me to join bootcamp with her. I think the name bootcamp is a little should be called "kick your butt and every other part of your body"camp! You realize you have muscles that you would never knew you had let alone imagine they could hurt that much. But I LOVE IT! I have actually already signed up for the next session. 

You are probably wondering why I am sharing this. Well, for each session we have to bring our own yoga mats. I have a mat but I don't have a bag to carry that mat. I struggle with it hanging out the end of my gym bag twice a week, then on my off days it sits in the corner of my bedroom slowly unraveling into a mess. 

I went out to buy one, but I am far to cheap to spend money on something like that. So I thought I would make one. After very little Google searching, I found quite a few ways to sew your own. None of which were great for basic sewers or lazy sewers like me. 

So this is how I got here. I wanted a quick and easy way to sew a yoga mat bag.
  • Pillow case
  • Thread
  • Ribbon
I headed to my linen closet and found the ugliest pillow case we had. Don't judge my 90s burgundy, hunter green and navy blue paisley pillow case. I am sure if each and every one of you were to dive elbows deep into your linen closets you would find something just as beautiful! :)  Just note that since this worked so well, I will be making another one out of a nicer, maybe even funky pillow case that I find on clearance someplace.
Make sure the pillow case is longer than the yoga bag.
Cut off the 'cuff' (you know the fancy end of the pillow case where the fabric is folded over) of the pillow case with scissors; try to get as close to the body of the pillow case as possible. Then remove the seam on the 'cuff' so you have one long piece of fabric. This is going to make the strap of your yoga bag.
 Iron your cuff fabric in half.
Then sew it along the two sides and then down the middle. This gives a nice firm fabric that will not twist or bunch.
I then determined how wide I needed the yoga bag to be. Make sure you leave enough space that the mat can slide in easily. I recommend pinning it and testing before you cut.

I cut the pillow case with my rotary cutter to get a straight line but you can use scissors easily too.
Now this part will seem a little tricky, but it really isn't. With the right side of the pillow case facing in, you need to put the strap of the bag inside. This will allow you to sew the strap right into the side seam of the bag. I sewed the strap on an angle into the side seam so they lay nicely when I wear the bag.
I did not need the full length of the 'cuff' strap. So I recommend, pinning this, flipping it right side out and carefully (so you don't prick yourself) determine how long you want your strap to be. Everyone will like it a different length.
This is the strap tucked within the pillow case bag.
I then did a really loose stitch up the side seam (Remember the bottom seam is already sewn from the pillow case). I did this so that if there was a problem I could pull it out easily. I verified everything worked, i.e. the strap length, the opening for the mat, etc. Once I determined it was all good I did a nice straight stitch and then went over the seam with a zigzag stitch.
Now this is where you make the bottom stand nicely. The other patterns online want you to cut a circle and carefully line it up with the bottom..come on. I can make it a million time easier. Since the bottom of the pillow case was already sewn all you need to do is a square corner. To do this, grab one corner (where the side seam is) and pull the fabric out so the bottom seam is down the middle. Really the middle seam and the side seam are laying on top of each other. Pin it. Then do the same with the opposite side.
 So it will look like this.
 Determine how wide your yoga mat roll is and sew a straight line, creating a triangle on each corner. Taa Daa! You have a flat bottom. (In any other situation, I would not be hoping for a flat bottom :)).
Now to the top of the bag. I simple folded the top over by a 1/2 inch, ironed it down and sewed the pocket, threaded some ribbon through and used an old bauble thingy from one of my kids old boots :).

Here it is done! I did take some pictures of it on my back but I looked like I had two chins and I am not sharing those.
Not bad huh, 90s paisley and all. Just image how cute it could be with a pretty pillow case (if you have one on hand or find one on clearance).

If you have any question on my confusing tutorial, let me know.

Thanks and Enjoy!
Linking to some great parties including: Story of A2Z, Thrifty Home


  1. wonderful idea, mine is just sitting in the back of the car, not staying very sanitary!! will definitely try this.

  2. This is awesome, I canot wait to make one!! New Follower & super excited to get to know you!
    ~Jen @ Frazzled Five

  3. This is such a creative idea! I would love for you to Link up at my Linky party via:

    Mrs. Delightful

  4. Very Interesting and wonderfull information keep sharing

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Thanks for sharing this informative information about yoga mats with bag & strap with us. It's very helpful. Keep it up!

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