Yoga Mat Bag Tutorial

I like yoga. It's soothing and energizing at the same time - something I find I need quite a bit. And now, I'll have a good reason to go to class more often - to show off my handmade yoga mat bag!

{Sorry about picture quality - hubby has the "good" camera on his hunting trip in the wild west this week}

Materials needed:
1/2 yard home dec or canvas fabric {mine is a home dec from Ikea that I got for $8/yd}
2 strips of coordinating fabric for handle - 2.5" x 30" {I used 2 strips from a jelly roll}
1 strip of coordinating fabric for tie - 2.5" x 30"
Sewing machine
Coordinating thread

Step 1 - Make tie

Lay tie strip right side down on ironing board. Fold in half lengthwise and press. Open back up and fold outside edges to center, just as you would to make bias tape. Press. Fold in half again lengthwise and press.

Edgestitch down the length of newly formed tie on the matched folded edges. Set aside.

Step 2 - Make the strap
With right sides together, sew strap strips down the length of both matched long edges with 1/4" seam to make a tube.
Turn tube right side facing out. Make this a little easier with a tube turner, a bodkin or a safety pin attached to one end and thread it through the middle to the other end.
Press flat - wiggling the seams to get them to match up and lay as flat as possible. Tip: I stuck a wooden yardstick up the middle of the tube and used the edge of the stick to help me iron a crisper seam. Try it - it helps!
After pressing, edge stitch down both sides of strap. Zig zag stich the raw end edges. Set aside.

Step 3 - Make Bag Bottom Piece
Measure your rolled up yoga mat. Mine was 24" long and about 14" around. I determined my bag body piece needed to be 30" x 18". This will accommodate a 3.5" turn down at the top for the tie, and seam allowances on the side of almost 3/4" and the bottom of 1/2". **Not all mats are the same - mine is on the thinner side, so therefore a thicker mat will be larger when measured around. Measure twice, add about 4-6 inches to each measurement and then cut. You can always adjust later. And it's okay if the bag is a little bigger than it needs to be. Not okay for the bag to be too small!

Measure for bottom piece:

Draw around the outside of your mat - adding at least an inch all around. If you want {I did this}, after you've rough drawn your circle, find a bowl roughly the same size and re-trace your circle for a more even circle. Again, if it's a little bigger than your circle, it's okay.

Cut out circle: I fussy cut mine a little because I think this part of the fabric is interesting. Fold in half and fold in half again. Lightly press.

These press lines will help you line up your bag bottom later. Set this piece aside.

Step 4 - Make Bag Body
With bag body piece:
Fold long edges in 1/4" and press.

Edge stitch all the way down on both sides.

Measure 3" from the top of the bag and mark with a pencil. This is where you will start your side seam stitching.

Fold bag piece in half so folded edges match, right sides of fabric together. Starting at the 3" mark you made {where the pin is in pic}, sew with 1/2" seam allowance down the folded edge. You will now have a tube.

Lay tube flat with newly formed seam facing up. Press seam open. Also, press sides to create a crease to help line up the bottom piece later.

Turn tube right side out. With right side facing up, edge stitch the opening in the side seam we created when we measured 3". Start at the cut edge, sew down to about 1/4" beyond the 3" mark, needle down, pivot, stitch 1/4" beyond folded edge, reverse stitch once or twice to reinforce where the seam splits, and then finish up the other side.

Step 5 - Attach Strap
Fold the raw zig zag end of the strap under about 1/4" and press. Place the folded edge about 1" below where we started the side seam and where the opening for the tie is now. Make sure it's straight and even. Start sewing across the top, doing a reverse stitch at the beginning and end. Sew in a box shape or zig-zag stitch if you'd like.

Step 6 - Attach Bag Bottom
Turn bag inside out and pull attached strap through the bottom. Make sure strap is laying flat and isn't twisted. Line strap up along the seam line and measure between 8-10 inches past the raw edge and mark with a pencil. This will give you enough slack to sling it over the shoulder or across the front of the body. If it's too long after it's attached, you can always go back and shorten it. Err on the side of making it longer than you might need. If you're making this for someone, keep their body-type in mind when measuring for the strap.
Cut off excess strap and pin raw strap edge to the inside raw edge of bag, centering it over the seam. After pinning the strap end, pull the strap slack toward the top and pin to keep it out of the way while you sew the bottom.

With the wrong side of the fabric facing out and the right side of the fabric facing into the middle of bag body, attach the bottom piece - raw edge to raw edge- lining up the creases that you made earlier. The bottom piece may be a tad larger or smaller than the bag body - just tuck and pleat as you pin to make it fit.
In this picture I pinned with the sharp ends of the pins facing out - don't do this. It 's painful. Pin with sharp 
ends to the middle.  
Sew around the perimeter of the bottom with a generous 1/4" seam {closer to 1/2"}. Zig-Zag stitch around the raw edges after sewing the seam to prevent fraying.

Step 7 - Making the Tie Casing
With bag still inside out - turn top raw edges under 1/2" and finger press. Turn under again 1/2" and pin in place. Line up the opening so it looks neat. Edge stitch along the inside folded edge, reverse stitching at both ends for added strength.
Turn bag right side out.

Last step - Insert tie into casing
Take tie that that you made earlier and attach a safety pin or bodkin to one end. Thread through the casing making sure it lays flat all the way around.

Pull tie through and knot both ends to keep it from getting pulled back through casing.

You're done!! Insert your mat, tie a bow and be amazed at how adorable and practical your bag is!
If you have questions or you catch a mistake - email me at AndieJohnsonSews {@} gmail-dot-com.


  1. Love this! I was looking for something like this for my daughters YOGA mat! Perfect timing

  2. Adorable! Thanks for taking the time to share your tutorial.

    I don't really take my yoga mat out but I think it needs a cute home just because. Hubs will be glad when I get my hot pink pilates mat out of the corner & up on my closet wall!!

    THANKS =)

  3. Honestly I'm happy to just use the worn mats that my gym provides, but how can you resist this cute bag on your shoulder? It takes like 45 minutes to make and you'll have it for the next 10 years!

  4. I just found your tutorial via craft gossip! I LOVE your tutorial {and your blog}!!! I just got a yoga mat for Christmas and I'd love to make a cute bag to house it in!!! I'm your newest follower!

  5. Katie! So glad to cyber-meet you! Going to visit your blog now....

  6. Ooh this is great! I need to make one asap. I haul my mat to the gym 4X a week and each time I say this is the week I've got to change something! I found you via craft gossip and would love to link to this if you didn't mind.

  7. Just made one of these - in slightly larger size as a scooter bag for those trips out when it's too far to scoot and I end up carrying it!! Fab tutorial, thanks very much x


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