Well, it's official. My best friend and I are going to a yoga retreat in western Massachusetts for a few days in June.
I can't wait!
It's costing us around $530 each for lodging and food for three nights and four days. Since that felt a little hefty, we opted not to take any additional classes. We're just going to attend the free yoga and mediation classes.
Since I like making something for myself before going on a trip, I decided to make myself a bag for my yoga mat. I've never had one before, and I figured it was time to stop carrying my mat under my arm.
I looked at patterns in two different books for inspiration. Simple Sewing had a pattern for a yoga bag, but I didn't like the non-circular bottom. My crafting partner, Katie, suggested that I consult In Stitches to look at their laundry bag pattern, which does have a circular bottom.
Since I hate, hate, hate reading patterns, I pretty much improvised a very simple pattern. Here's what I did:
- I used my rolled up yoga mat to estimate the right size for a large rectangular piece of fabric (P.S. All the fabric was leftover IKEA fabric from other projects).
- I used a plate from my cupboard to cut out a circle for the bottom.
- I cut two long rectangles for the strap. I sewed them right side to right side (along the two long sides) and then flipped it right-side-out and ironed.
- I made a pocket for my keys (with a velcro enclosure) by sewing a piece of velcro to the inside of the pocket, putting two right-sides together, sewing around three sides, flipping it right-side-out, and sewing it onto the rectangular piece (closing up the last side as I attached it) after I sewed the corresponding velcro piece to the rectangular base.
- I sewed the long rectangular base closed along the side.
- Then I put the strap between the circular bottom and the rectangle and sewed the circle on (after stay stitching around the circle and then cutting out small notches to get the circle to connect more flatly to the rectangle).
- At the top of the rectangle, I sewed two button holes, opened them up with a seam ripper, and then folded it over twice (with the top of the strap inside) to make the casing.
- Then I used some extra fabric to make a draw string.
- Finally, I used a safety pin to thread the draw string through the casing.
Of course those nine steps make it sound a lot easier than it actually was. I didn't spend enough time thinking through the steps of my improvised pattern before I began, so I messed a lot of things up. A lot. I had to use the seam ripper to undo a lot of my work. A lot.
Despite my frustration, I was glad I went back with the seam ripper to get everything right (I almost settled for having the seam on the opposite side of the strap which would have put the seam front and center on the bag). Having my friend Katie there (she was working on a baby hat) really helped. She wouldn't let me settle for a warped bag!