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Yoga Mat Bag from Old Pants

Here’s an easy way to use an old, ripped pair of pants to make a drawstring bag for your yoga mat.

Steps

Step #1: Assess your pants.

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Yoga Mat Bag from Old Pants

Are the legs wide enough for your yoga mat? Long enough with some extra space for seams? It\'s important to verify this before we go any further.

Step #2: Cut the tube and straighten it.

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  • Even straight-leg pants have some change in shape along their length, so turn the leg inside-out and pin and sew the flared part(s) to make a straight tube.
  • Cut off the excess fabric leaving a reasonable seam allowance (1/4" to 1/2").

Step #3: Create a strap.

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Yoga Mat Bag from Old PantsYoga Mat Bag from Old PantsYoga Mat Bag from Old PantsYoga Mat Bag from Old Pants
  • This bag's main purpose is to allow you to carry your mat on your shoulder, so a strap is essential.
  • Cut a length of fabric from the as-of-yet unused leg of the pants to match the length of your tube, and fold it over in a manner that hides the fray-able edges. Sew.

Step #4:

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  • We're going to create a pleat at the bottom that will make a less boxy shape at the end of the bag.
  • With the tube still inside-out, fold the edges in on themselves like in the picture, and sandwich one end of the strap into the bottom seam (with the long side inside the main tube).
  • Pin and sew (you may want to sew several times for reinforcement).

Step #5: Create the drawstring casing.

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  • Test your bag to see how much space you have at the top to create the drawstring casing.
  • With the bag still inside out, fold down a hem to match the size of your drawstring (a little bigger to allow movement, of course).
  • I used the hem of the pants, so I didn't need to fold it under to hide any edges, but depending on the type and condition of your pants, you may need to turn the hem twice to make it nice.
  • Leave a space unsewn so that you can thread your drawstring later.

Step #6: Sew a drawstring.

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To create the drawstring, use the same principle as the strap. I used the double-stitched seam from the other pant leg because I like the way it looks, and it\'s very strong.

Step #7: Thread the drawstring.

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  • You're almost there! Thread the drawstring through the casing using a safety pin.
  • Cut a hole along the casing on the on the outside of the bag.
  • You can choose to embroider around this hole if you're worried about fraying, but it will only fray a little if you're using denim or corduroy, like me.

Step #8:

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  • Turn the bag right side out and attach the loose end of the strap to the loose ends of the drawstring with the sewing machine.
  • Be careful, as this will probably be very thick and could prove difficult to run through your sewing machine. I know my machine certainly didn't like it!
  • Reinforce this seam.

Step #9: Go to yoga!

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Yoga Mat Bag from Old Pants
  • Insert mat into bag. You're on your way!
  • I'm still having problems with this step, but hey, I can't complain that my mat is too hard to carry around anymore!
Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).


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