Yoga mat bag – tutorial



Last week I was kindly asked by Recycle for Greater Manchester for a tutorial on how to make a bag for a yoga mat – here is the promised post. For technical reasons and to ensure that this post is not massively long the instructions placed below have been written in English only – should any of my readers like to receive Polish version – please let me know.


Finally, hope you enjoy, let me know if you have any further questions.  Please share with me pictures of your bags – I would love to see them and will be happy to create a mini gallery for all my lovely readers to see them too! Happy sewing!



– old pair of jeans with all leg seams ripped open (the pair I have used was actually teenage size so adult pair will be more than enough)

– machine thread in chosen colour

– zip (at least 14 inch long)

– strip of basic calico fabric (longer than planned length of your bag)  + embroidery thread (for embroidery panel, optional)

– cereal bowl

– tailor’s chalk (or tailor’s marking pen)

– pencil

– pins

– basic sewing machine

– basic iron

– bags of enthusiasm

Note: Protect all raw edges from fraying by running a zig-zag stitch – unless you cut out your pieces with pinking shears.




On the panel of calico strip – draw with a pencil / tailor’s pen a number of yoga poses, symbols – anything you like. Once happy hand embroider with chosen thread. When finished wash, leave to dry. Once dry – press flat, then press 0.5 inch side seam to the wrong side of the strip.



To determine how big your bag will be – roll up your yoga mat as you would normally do. Measure the length (which when rolled out is the width of your mat) and the circumference of your mat. From your jeans you will need to cut out rectangular strips of denim fabric. Seam allowances are normally 1.5 cm or 5/8 inch. Make sure before you cut out your strips that they include seam allowances  and slight surplus of fabric. The surplus of fabric is to allow you to get the mat in and out of the bag with easiness.




Find a bowl into which you can insert a rolled mat. If your bowl leaves a thickness of a finger between the bowl and mat – that’s a good size for the ends of your bag. Put the bowl upside down and trace the circle on the denim fabric. Remember that you will need 2 pieces one for each end of your bag. Thickness of your finger – acts here as the seam allowance and the comfort of wear.



To the ends of your zip sew rectangular strips of fabric like on the picture below.



Sew 1 strip of fabric to the zip – placing the raw edge of the fabric with the raw edge of the zip and right sides together. Do the same with the other side of the zip using another strip of fabric.



Place embroidered strip on top of denim fabric away from the zip. Sew the panel onto the denim fabric.



Measure the length of the stitched piece from one end to another. Compare it to the length of circumference –  does it allow for slight comfort of fit? If yes you are ready to saw the piece together to create a tunnel like shape.




Cut a rectangular strip of fabric that will become a shoulder strap. To make a strap you will fold the strip in half and stitch along the long edge. Press the seam and pull inside out. Press again. Your strap needs to be 1.25 times the length of the bag + seam allowance. Line up the raw edges: strap and tunnel – pin and stitch. Do the same on the other end of the tunnel.



Pin one of the bases (right sides together) to the end of the tunnel and stich. Open slightly the zip and pin the other side of the base to the  end of the tunnel and stitch as before.



Open the zip fully and turn the bag inside out. Put your mat in the bag and show it off by taking it to your class.


6 thoughts on “Yoga mat bag – tutorial

  1. Hi Frilka
    This is great. Thanks for the upcycled jeans yoga bag tutorial, it looks really easy to follow. We already have three volunteers in our office who are going to have a go at making the bag. We will keep you posted with pictures of the bags and let you know how they got on. We will be asking our Facebook and Twitter followers to have a go and post the results, lets see what we get!

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