August 7, 2011

An ever-so-nearly-professional-looking yoga bag

I was in downward dog the other day, and was suddenly struck by that most un-prana of emotions: envy. Envy for my adjacent yoga practioner’s splendid yoga bag. But while standing on one leg in tree pose, pondering all the things in the world I may never have, I had a splash of inspiration: why, I learned to sew for moments like these! I *was* planning on taking some photos of said cute bag, but my iPhone unfortunately takes about 7.5 minutes to turn on and I thought it might be particularly stalkerish to accost the poor woman when she was already halfway down the street.
So, instead, I decided to make it FROM MEMORY, PEOPLE! Oh yes. I did try to download an Amy Butler pattern from the interwebs, but apparently they were out of service today. And I figured, how hard can it be to make a cylindrical yoga bag that fits my mat, sweaty-towel (it’s hot yoga), dry-y towel, water bottle and keys? Exactly. So, a first: an actual Jenny Design ™.
First, I made a cunning plan. Presented here:
Then, I tried to construct it in my mind, but kept getting confused. Especially with the tricky sewing-a-straight-line-to-a-curved-line challenge. So I decided to play on the safe side, and make a muslin. This is a handy way to do a test run without messing up one’s lovely fabric (from Gather Here, of course). Here’s the piece I made for the bottom of the external water-bottle-pocket:
Here’s the curvy bit sewn to a straight bit (apologies if this is getting too technical):
And here is the proof of concept! Done.

And given it was a day for firsts, I thought: why not finally learn how to make binding tape? It looks pretty. And adjacent-yoga-practioner’s bag had green binding tape. So I bought the widget (three guesses where, readers) and followed the helpful instructions.
First, cut some fabric on the bias (i.e. at a 45 degree angle to the grain):

Then you pin it to your ironing board, feed one end into the bias-tape-widget and then put it along and iron what comes out the other side. Then, you have to iron *that* in half so that it’s a v-shape that you can put over the two sides of your fabric edge.Getting pinned on…

Et voila! I was quite pleased with myself at this point. Next step: sewing the pocket onto the main bag. Some hot topstiching action for you here:

Then I decided to go a bit mad with the green-trim-theme. I made the drawstring holder out of the nice green Kona cotton as well, and threaded through a rope that’s apparently meant for making piping (I do not know how to do that. One day.).

Sewed up the sides (including putting another green panel in.. because I measured too small, I hear you say? Never!), sewed on a circle at the bottom (very hard), and here she is! One home-made yoga bag. And if only I hadn’t forgotten to leave a space for the strap, and hence had to unpick and re-sew seams, it would be almost-professional-looking. If I say so myself.

Right, I’m off to do a Happy Baby and Chatarunga Dandasana.

Let me know what you think!