Make a Folded Fabric Yoga Mat Bag with Rob!

Make a Folded Fabric Yoga Mat Bag with Rob!


After I finish my morning stretch, I can’t
wait to get into the sewing room but that means I’ve got to pick up the yoga mat and
get it out of the way. I thought what a fantastic new project. Let’s make a folded fabric
strip yoga mat bag with a zipper to boot and a handle. Wow! I’m ready to get started. Today’s project features some fantastic
2 ½ inch wide pre cut strips from Island Batik. And in my packet I had two of everything.
But that doesn’t really matter because of the organic nature of the way that you’re
going to lay out your colors and fold up your fabrics to make the bag. Now the bag is completed
using all of those strips and some zipper by the yard. But I’ve got to show you where
we’re going to start from which is building a pile of fabric, right? So what you can see
here now, and by the way, I’ve used an average size 24 inch length of my yoga mat. So the
numbers I’m giving you today in the video worked with my mat. If you have a different
mat pay attention to the numbers, right? So we’re going to make a 45 wide inch long
length of fabric using 30 of our strips. Thirty of them will go perfectly around that average
size yoga mat bag. Now a lot of times when we’re working with
folded fabric strips like this we want to have no raw edges so our bags are completely
reversible. And so what I had done on these first three strips, you can see there’s
no way to get into those strips. And that is done by preparing our strips by pressing
them into quarters, ok? So I’m going to open this up to show you. It might even be
easier if I just take one of my extra strips that I didn’t use for my bag and just give
a little pressing. So the easiest way I found is I first set a center seam. And with that
center seam that’s going to give me a great line to come back to as I fold down. So I’ve
created a center seam. And then what I’m going to do is I’m just going to fold this
down to that center seam here. And of course you’ll be doing this for your whole strip.
I’m just so excited to get that zipper installed I want to go quick here. I know I’ve got
to slow down so you can see the steps. So I’m going to roll that bottom edge up too,
right? And just about to that center mark. You don’t want any bulk in that center if
possible. And then the last step would be of course folding it over. And this step I
believe is actually the most important of all the pressing because I want you to press
all of your strips first so that you’re ready to just enjoy the rest of the construction.
So by having that nice pressed you can handle the fabrics over and over again and they won’t
tend to try and open up on you. Now I’m going to show you a quick trick real fast
here. I want you to pay attention. I am going to be mounting finished edges over here on
my handle. I want it that way. But I want to put my zipper in on the bag. So on the
outer two strips, of the body of fabric, we actually put them in opposite to how I’m
about to teach you so they’re open. So we’re going to slide the zipper right in. We’ll
get there. Hang on. Standard construction for those folded strips,
I have a finished edge, I have my open edge. And with that open edge I’m going to mount
it right to the finished edge. I’m going to come over to my sewing machine where I
have some polyester thread today because I want the strength of the polyester thread.
I’ve got a zig zag set up on my machine. And right now I’m looking at about 3 ½
millimeters wide and about 1.4 millimeters long. Basically a small zig zag will help.
And I’m going to join these edges next to each other, kind of a butt edge. And as I
begin sewing I’m watching the edge of the fabrics at the center of the presser foot
and I’m just zig zagging right over the top of them. As a matter of fact they make
a couple of other accessory feet that are pretty awesome for this but not all machines
have it so I’m showing you with your average foot. But they do make what’s called an
edge guide foot. It has a blade in the middle of it and that will help you join your seams
as well. If you have one of those you might as well use it. Ok, let me get this done so
I can get back to you. Now as I’m finishing this handle out I’ve got those four strips
all together and I really do enjoy these kinds of sewing projects where I can kind of get
all my prep work done and then enjoy sitting at the machine while all the parts and pieces
run through, right? Ok, so we will want all four of these strips for my handle down the
road but now we’re going to start to build the body of the bag first. Now in order to build the body of the bag,
like I said, I have 30 strips. A quick reminder, I have the edges opened. And now what I’m
going to do is I’m going to get myself my ruler and my cutter and the first edge up
here I’m actually going to, let me show you this up here this little trick. I am watching
all of these lines on my ruler this way to make sure that my ruler is square to the fabric
because I’m going to do a trim first, ok? And now as I mentioned earlier my yoga mat
is 24 inches so I want at least an extra inch on either side. But I’m going to have to
have those seam allowances in there as well. If you want to add even more, I’m not going
to stop you. I cut my piece at 26 inches. So I’m just going to come down here and
I’m going to cheat a little bit because I’m using the mat today and my 26 inch mark
is going to be right here. And just to make sure I’m going to give myself an extra quarter
inch because I don’t want to have any problem. . And I”m making sure I put a lot of effort
into this and making sure everything is nice and square. And we’re just going to go ahead
and slice through. Now one of the tricks to cutting through all those layers is to always
have a fantastically sharp blade on your rotary cutter, right? And I also want to point out
down in the description below we have a link to our free printables. And this printable
takes you through the steps of the ironing, the stitching but also what we’re going
to do now is we’re going to use our scraps here to make the two circular ends of the
bag. Now I have a funny little formula and I won’t
bother you too much with geometry but what I want you to do is I want you to measure
the width of your bag across here and then you’re going to divide that by 6.28. Crazy
I know, it’s two times Pi. Now what that will do is give you the radius to set up your
cool circular rotary cutter, right? But I’m also going to remind you, add in your quarter
of an inch to your number so you have your seam allowance as well. Ok, I’ve got a fun
quick tip if you don’t know how to use this I’ll send you down to our quick tips to
watch that. And now what I’m going to do is I’m going to map out where I’m going
to end up with this circle. And I don’t want these green edges in here because of
the openness of them. Perfect, here we go. And I’m going to need two of these, one
for each end. A little bumpy, you want your fabric to be able to travel with you there.
Perfect and even with that bump you can see that doesn’t cause a problem. Why that was
happening is the fabric was kind of gapping out. And not an issue there. I’ve got plenty
of zone to work with in. Nice, fast circle. Let it free. Look at that. I love these circular
cutters. These are fantastic. Ok so now that you’ve got your circles ready
it is time to finish all of the construction on our bag. And the first thing we need to
do is we need to take our zipper by the yard and get it in place. Now if you’ve never
handled zipper by the yard it comes as a roll, by the yard with a lot of different zipper
heads on there. I’ve already scooted the heads down and out of the way because I want
my zipper by the yard now to be at least, I’m going to say an inch and a half longer
total than my 26 inches I created there. I want a little bit to hang over the ends so
I don’t have to worry so much when I’m handling the zipper. And we’re going to
go ahead and start by installing the zipper right into this open end. Here’s my trick,
remember when I asked you to cut your zipper an inch and a half long, what I’ve done
is I’ve gone ahead and secured so the zipper can’t come off the end with a safety pin.
And then we’re going to start our first set of sewing way up here so that that extra
inch and a half isn’t even in our project. We’ll have to zip the head back before we
get too carried away. But for right now I want you to see what I’m doing with this
zipper right now actually. I’ve got my fabric back just a little ways from the actual teeth
of the zipper and the edge of this foot up against there. Now I’ve moved my needle
over so it’s stroking through the fabric itself and catching it nice. And then you
want to go nice and slow to make sure that you secure that zipper in that wonderful opening
we’ve left for ourselves there. Let me jump into caffeinated mode and get this side done
and so I can walk you through the second side. That first side of that zipper went in no
sweat, right? Now the second side should go almost as easy but we’re going to have a
little bit more management. So one of the other tricks I like to put in better. I take
the safety pin up here in the end and working towards and I’m going to put the skinny
end right into my finger. I’m glad you didn’t see that. And out here, ok. And then that
way I can still grab the other side of the bag. And we’re going to start by getting
these ends in here. I’m going to start up here. I want the bulk in my lap. As I said
we’re going to need to slow down and handle this management a little bit so we make sure
that number one we don’t stitch over the safety pin. So I’m just moving it up a little
bit. And I did not need to move the side of my zipper foot the way I’m doing it this
way. Let’s go ahead and backstitch a couple to lock it in. Not on the safety pin. And
now what I’m going to do is I’m just going to stitch. And you notice that the bulk of
the bag is in my lap right now. And I’m actually working on the inside of the backside
of this tail. We’re just going to go in here about as far as we possibly can. So what
we’re going to do is we’re going to take a little backstitch. Because I want to secure
that thread. Cut your threads actually. Ok and now we’re going to take this thing out
of here at this point. And we’re going to unzip our zipper like yay. And now we’re
going to be able to come back in here on the other side of the opening. So you notice I’ve
got the opening now up here, just like that. And now I’m going to just take a moment
and get myself organized and stitch all the way down to the end. And then we’ll be getting
ready to put those wonderful circles on the end and the straps at the very same time,
ok? So I’ve got this organized and I’m going to line up about five or six stitches
back so it all looks terrific. Make sure you’ve got that zipper where it belongs, right? So
you’re just going to do that. You’re going to backstitch to lock it in and now we’re
just really easy sewing right through here, ok? And then just make sure you’re always
keeping that zipper inside the opening of your batik strips. Ok here we are coming into
that end. It’s gone really nicely. We do have another safety pin down here. So be careful
but we’re going to backstitch. We’re going to cut those threads. Come on out of here. And so now what we have is we have a fully
functioning zipper wrapped around my thread tail here. Fully functioning zipper in here.
I’ve still got my safety pins. I am going to want to take and trim this off, right?
So don’t keep goofing around with your zipper because you might take off of that end if
you’re not careful, ok? I’m going to put my straight stitch foot back on because we’re
going to now go ahead and put the bottoms on and catch the handle all at the same time.
So first of all take your bag and make sure you know which is the right side. It will
be the side that has the head for the zipper on it, ok? Then from there we’re going to
take our handle and we’re going to basically catch this in that raw edge as we put it all
together. So I like to work away from my zipper so I just went down about four or five strips.
And I went ahead and I’m going to take this and I’m going to pin it in place. I’ve
got some straight pins somewhere down here. And what we’re going to do is we’re going
to take a couple of those straight pins and I’m just lining up my edges like that. And
then I’m going to come down here and I’m going to make sure that there are no twists
in my handle. And of course you should check the measurements for your handle as well.
You know one of the things I remembered doing with mine is I cut about six to eight inches
off of the handle. So let’s just do that now. Let’s cut eight inches off for this
like that. You can make yourself a cool little keychain or something out of that if you wanted
to. And now I’m just running down that as the same center seam, no twists in my handle
whatsoever. And I’m go ahead and I’m going to put another pin right here. Ok, now this
is the right sides of the bag. Let’s go ahead and turn. Either unzip it if you’d
like. You’re definitely going to want it partially unzipped. And you need it unzipped
to get it out of the inside because we’re going to start working on this. Like I said,
right sides together now. Now we take one of our circle pieces. It doesn’t
necessarily have a right or a wrong side. And I’m just going to go ahead and get ready
to set this in here. But I do like to catch the handle first. Kind of come around the
back a little bit the circle just enough. And now I’m just going to watch the edge
of my presser foot and the edge of my bag. And make sure I”ve got this thing set just
the way I want. I actually need to move my needle position a little bit because I only
gave myself a quarter of an inch for that circle extra. There we go, that should be
plenty. And now as I work through this I’m going to catch the handle. I’m going to
let the curve of the circle guide me through the rest of the bag body. And as I approach
the zipper, one of the things I like to do is I like to go a little bit slower. And then
right as I get over I can feel it, bup, bup, bup. I can feel that zipper in there. Now
I’m going to back up and forward and back up. You know what I did, I just secured that
zipper base so it won’t unzip ever. And then one last time over it. Kind of a cool
trick, I think. And now we’re just going to go around here. Keep on stitching. You
can probably see that it’s coming together really nice on the circle. I am kind of wishing
I had my stiletto. There’s a lot of bulk in there right now. But like I said, just
slow her down a little bit. Take your time. And as you come back over, the spot where
you started we’re going to also backstitch a couple of times over that to hold it in,
like yay, ok? Cut that thread, ok? And we’re almost there. We just have one last end to
go. And what I want to do now is I”m going to
zip this up, ok. I don’t like the fact that I feel like that wants to shift around. And
I don’t want it to shift around while you’re working. But we are going to need to keep
it open. So I’m looking for that safety pin I had. And we’re just going to try this
trick, I hope it helps, ok. So yes we do need to sew in this area. So let’s just go up
a little ways, ok and just safety pin that to keep things moving around. I think that’s
going to help us a bunch, ok? But we can still get in there and unzip our bag now but secure
it up there a little bit better. We’re going to come down here. We’re going to go right
sides to right sides. I’m going to start up on top of that handle. Make sure all my
edges are lined up nice. And if all has gone well, we are presto going to pull that safety
pin there, right? We’re going to turn this beautiful new yoga bag right sides back out
just to make sure it works. Come on now. I’m getting all excited. You wouldn’t think
I was in zen mode with that kind of activity, right? You’ve got a couple of pins in the
handles there so still be careful. As it comes around. And now you have a fantastic, super
custom, batik yoga mat bag with a handle and a killer zipper. And you are ready for class. Now if that was your very first install of
the zipper I bet you’re ready for a bit of a stretch and some zen as well. Remember
they’re not difficult but they need us to just slow down a little bit. A couple of stitches
at a time. And enjoy it. And even us the pros sometimes have to go back and do it again
and again and again. And until then we’ll see you at Man Sewing. Thanks for being a Man Sewing fan. It’s
great to have you out there encouraging me to create fantastic new content. If you missed
any of the videos we’ve got links for you here and here. And while you’re checking
those out, make sure you’re subscribed. We don’t want you to miss any of the action.

28 Replies to “Make a Folded Fabric Yoga Mat Bag with Rob!”

  1. Woah! I'm so early! How does the double open sides work for the larger piece? The way I am imagining it is moving from one side to the other, where you would only have one open side. Can someone explain how to do it?

  2. that's a nice idea! looks really pretty. i'd neaten the edges of the fabric though with my serger ;-)..
    well done, awesome work!

  3. Yep. This one is added to the top of my "must sew" list when I get back in my sewing room this fall! Thanks for another awesome tutorial 🙂

  4. wait I'm a little confused. When you see the strips together you don't overlap them? you just butt them together?

  5. What kind of coffee do you drink as mine doesn't give me that much energy, could me my age. Great video I have always wanted to make one keep up the great work.

  6. Very nice idea, great video! May I ask why you do not take the zipper apart just for sewing in the second side? Would be much easier, I think. It's not that complicated to slide on the zipper head back on afterwards 😉
    I use zipper by the yard alle the time, for bags big and small, and I always take them apart temporarily 😀

  7. i like this very much only thing i will change to make it totally reversible i will bind the edges of the circle and the end then hand sew the circle on with extra strong thread

  8. Cool way to make a bag. Any chance you could come with a storage piece to store all those wonders templates/rulers?

  9. Thanks Rob looking forward to making this one for sure, love the circle cutter, haven't seen it before, Jules from Australia

  10. Great tutorial! I made a mat bag for my thin mat but it was a drawstring closure. I love this zipper bag and I think I'll try this for my new .5 mat. I have part of a jelly roll leftover so that will be perfect!

  11. Amazing tutorial! I really like the way the bag came out. How long would you say it took you to make and sew together all of the strips for the bag?

  12. Hi Rob, thank you for sharing all your creativity. I tried to do the matching of the strips but I did not succeed. It came a curvy piece and almost in all the joints I had spaces where the zig zag did not cathc both fabrics. I tried to make the strips as precise as I could but it didn´t work. Do you have any comment that can help to my two challenges? Thank ypou a head.

  13. This is a great channel. Very practical projects and no "Super cute!" repeated a thousand times. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Oh no, I'm doing something wrong, my strips go together beautifully but are bowing to one side. I have tried different feet using and not using the automatic feed. Please help.

  15. Ok. I'm SEWING strips together. The fabric got very wavy. Stop. Started again with new pieces no waviness. Using seam ripper to take apart wavy section off first piece. What causes the waviness?

  16. Rob, thanks for the tip to avoid the waviness. I completed the bag. From a distance it looks great. But upon close examination there are flaws. But I LOVE it anyway. Thank you for a great project. Time to pick out my next project with you. It might be sewing a panel.

  17. Hi Rob: I love the video and have been working on the bag. I have finished the foundation. A bit tricky. I chained my strips, growing them two to four to eight, etc. Using my sew steady table has really helped to reduce the pull.

    I made a prototype and it was a learning curve as it was quite curvy. End result is a
    nicely straight piece of quilted strips to work with. I still need to insert the zipper and am a bit apprehensive here as my plan was to use some zipper by the yard and a pull. I would love to use the technique as described by an earlier commentator. Any chance of your doing a video on this technique of sewing the zipper tabs first and re-inserting the pull? I would LOVE to see that done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *