Tutorial: yoga bag with insert panel

The one piece of 'me' time I get each week is for a yoga session.  But like every other woman who's ever existed, it's squeezed in between work, family and the chaos of life in general.
I arrive to my session in a flurry, often dropping my phone, mat, keys or whatever else I'm carrying. So I decided to make my life a little easier by creating a carry bag specially designed with an insert panel to keep my mat in some kind of rolled manner and a separate section to hold everything else.

Let's start with what you need:
  • 2 x main fabric panels 54cm high x 46 cm wide
  • 2 x lining fabric panels 56cm high x 48 cm wide
  • 2 x main fabric handles 60cm in length x 4.5 cm wide
  • 2 x lining fabric handles 60cm in length x 2cm wide
  • 2 x lining fabric insert 37cm high by 17cm wide
Additional items which are optional : interfacing for insert panels and I used Clover Create-a-Strap for the handles.
All seams are 1cm and you need to finish off all seams according to your fabric and preference.
  • Cut your handle pieces and fold over an edge like bias (main & lining fabrics)
  • The thinner lining piece gets sewn along the middle edge of the main fabric handle pieces down both sides.
  • Start with the outer fabric 1st.
  • Right sides together and sew down both sides and across the bottom.
  • Measure and cut 2 inch square from each bottom corner. (measure from the stitched seam)
  • Pinch and match both seams, pin and sew across.
  • Pressing is super important here to give the bag a gusset shape.  Match seams, fold and press. 
  • Add interfacing to your two lining insert pieces if you are doing so
  • Place them right sides together and sew along the top and bottom (the shortest widths)
  • Turn in to the right side and sew a top stitch along the top edge (either one)

  • Take your lining pieces, measure and mark 30cm across top & bottom (the remainder should be 18cm)

  • Cut down the entire length

  • Mark 10cm from the bottom on the both cut pieces (on the side you have just cut)Sandwich your insert between 30cm piece & 18cm piece with the insert bottom sitting at the 10cm mark. 

  • Right sides together.

  • Pin and sew along the entire lengths

  • Repeat for the 2nd side.  Your sewn together piece should be like a H.

  • Flattened out your piece, press open your seams, right sides together and sew along sides and bottom. Leave an opening at the bottom to turn through later.

  • Box out the bottom 2 inches by 2 inches. Same as above for outer fabric.


    • Insert the main outer fabric bag inside of the lining bag (right sides are together)
    • Match your side seams and pin
    • Take your handles and pin in position.
    • They will be sandwiched in between the lining and main outer fabric.  I've sewn my handles on with the lining fabric facing outward.
    • Sew around the top
    • Poke bag through your hole left in your lining and sew closed your lining hole.
    • Your lining fabric was a little longer than the main fabric to leave an edge of about 2cm showing on the outer.
    • Press and sew around the entire bag edge 2mm above the seam where the main & lining fabric joins.
    • Press and run a stitch across the handles to help them sit nice and flat. (don't stitch right the way around)

    1 comment:

    Megsy-Jane said...

    That's a lovely bag Jodie! Thank you for the fabulous newsletter by the way, I loved it!