For some time, my yoga-loving husband Barry had been hinting that I should make him a bag for his yoga mat. Inspired by some pins I saw on Pinterest, I decided to make him a fun but masculine bag, using a pant leg from a pair of old jeans.
At first, I was going to use blue denim, and then find a nice fabric to use as a contrast cuff and strap. But after going through my stash and finding a couple of lovely black and gold koi print fat quarters, I opted to switch to a retired pair of black denim jeans.
I sliced off one leg from the jeans, cut it open along the inseam, then squared it up as best as I could (even “straight leg” pant legs are much more tapered than you might think!) The main thing was to keep enough fabric to easily fit around a rolled up yoga mat, including plenty of room for a seam.
I cut a circle out of the koi fabric and used it to decorate the bag; I then stitched the tube closed again, securing the two ends of the shoulder strap (also made from koi fabric) in the seam.
To finish the closed end of the bag, I cut a circle of black denim of a slightly larger circumference than the end of the denim tube. I wanted to personalize the bag, but preserve that “yoga look”, so I googled the Sanskrit word for “Bear”, Barry’s nickname. I printed out the Sanskrit lettering, used an exacto knife to slice out the letters to make a stencil, then marked the word out on the denim circle. Denim is pretty thick fabric, so my sewing machine worked slowly to trace the lines of the marking in a satin stitch, using gold thread. It was the hardest and slowest part of the hold project, to tell you the truth. And since I don’t read Sanskrit, I have to trust that this word actually is “bear”.
I inverted the tube of the bag and meticulously pinned the end circle in place, then stitched around the circumference three times. At the open end of the bag, I made a cuff of koi fabric, stitched it in place, then top stitched.
What do you think? Does this bag scream, “I am a Yoga man”? Well, hubby is happy with it, so I guess that’s all that counts!