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Yoga Mat Sling Bag in PUL with Renaissance Ribbons

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If "getting fit and flexible" is on your list of New Year's Resolutions, today's project is for you: a bright and beautiful yoga mat sling bag accented with stunning Renaissance Ribbons. This bag is one of those projects everyone at S4H coveted during design, construction and photography – a sure sign it will be a visitor favorite as well. It really does have it all. We started with gorgeous ribbon embellishment on the body and strap (brand new Jane Sassaman designs from our sponsor, Renaissance Ribbons); combined that with fun, colorful fabric (a heavyweight PUL in hot pink); came up with a clever double-drawstring design so you can slide your mat in or out from either end, and added a handy zippered outside pouch for extra necessities.

Our bag features two beautiful Jacquard ribbons from the Jane Sassaman collection at Renaissance Ribbons: 1½" Black with Pink Morning Glory and ⅞" Black & Hot Pink Dotty Dots. The pink, green and white are nearly neon in their vibrancy, so they pop right off the black background. The detailed weave of the Jacquard ribbon produces an intricacy that simply isn't possible with any other type of production process. Renaissance Ribbons is famous for its woven Jacquards, and it's why so many of your favorite designers can be found there, like Amy Butler, Sue Spargo and Anna Maria Horner

We love our bright color combo, but you could also go rich and subtle with Kaffe Fassett's 1½" Clouds in Blue and ⅞" Cobalt Paperweight

Or have some fun with Tula's Pink's 1½" Pink Squirrels and ⅞" Birds & Bees on Gold.

You should use a heavier-weight PUL, not the super thin PUL often used for diaper covers. Another option would be a cotton laminate or even a thin vinyl. The idea to is use something with some water-resistant characteristics to accommodate a damp mat. Michael Miller Fabrics makes a nice selection of solid neon laminates as well as some of the heavier PUL in pretty patterns, available at Fabric.com.

If you're new to working with PUL, check out our tutorial. We also have a good step-by-step tutorial on working with cotton laminates.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • We used TWO beautiful jacquard ribbons from the Jane Sassaman collection at Renaissance Ribbons
    3½ yards of 1½" Black with Pink Morning Glory
    1½ yards ⅞" Black & Pink Dotty Dots
  • ¾ yard of 54"+ wide medium-weight PUL (polyurethane laminate) for the bag body, pocket and strap; we used bright pink purchased locally
    NOTE: As mentioned above, you should use the heavier-weight PUL, not the super thin PUL often used for diaper covers. Another option would be cotton laminate or even a thin vinyl. Michael Miller Fabrics makes a nice selection of solid neon laminates as well as some of the heavier PUL in patterns, available at Fabric.com
  • 1¼ yards of ⅛" round cord elastic – sometimes called shock cord; we used black 
  • ONE 4" plastic zipper; we used black 4" Coats polyester zipper
    NOTE: If unable to find a 4" zipper, you can use a longer zipper and cut it to fit.
  • TWO ¼" eyeletsfor the drawcord channels
  • TWO 5/32" eyelets for the bottom air release holes
  • TWO Double Cord Stops for ⅛" cord; we used Dritz ⅛" Cord Stops in black
  • TWO small beads for drawcord pulls, the hole should be large enough to fit the stretchy cord and the bead color should match the cord, we used black pony beads
    NOTE: The beads are optional; they are simply there to give you something to grip when pulling up the drawcord.
  • All-purpose thread to match fabric; we used bright pink
  • All purpose thread to match ribbon and/or Invisible Thread in Clear; we used Dritz invisible thread
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Tape measure
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins

    Getting Started

    1. From the PUL fabric, cut the following:
      ONE 34" wide x 20" high panel for the main bag body
      ONE 2¼" x 29" strip for the bag strap
      TWO 5" x 8" rectangles for the pocket
    2. Cut the 1½" Black with Pink Morning Glory ribbon into TWO 20" lengths and ONE 29" length,
    3. Cut the ⅞" Black & Pink Dotty Dots ribbon into SIX 20" lengths.
    4. Cut the shock cord into TWO 22" lengths.

    At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

    Strap

    1. Thread your machine with thread to match the fabric in the top and bobbin. 
    2. Find the 2¼" x 29" strap. Place it wrong side up on your work surface.
    3. Using your ruler, measure 1" in from each 29" raw edge, and draw two parallel lines the length of the strip.
    4. Fold in each raw edge to its nearest drawn line. Machine baste both folds in place. We used our Janome Ultraglide foot.
      NOTE: PUL doesn't press well, so it's harder to get it to hold a folded measurement than a normal cotton. Basting in place produces the same result.
    5. Find the 29" length of 1½" Black with Pink Morning Glory ribbon. Center the ribbon along the strip, concealing the fabric's raw edges beneath the ribbon. Pin in place.
    6. Re-thread your machine with clear thread in the top and bobbin (or thread to match the ribbon).
    7. Edgestitch along both sides of the ribbon.
    8. Remove the basting stitches and set the strap aside.

    Attach the ribbons to the bag body

    1. The diagram below shows various measurements on the yoga bag, but is especially helpful to understanding the accent ribbon placement and spacing.
    2. Find all eight 20" lengths of ribbon.
    3. Place the bag body panel right side up and flat on your work surface.
    4. Using your ruler, measure 4" in from one raw side edge (one 20" edge). This will be the placement line for the first ribbon. You can either draw a guideline with your fabric pen or pencil or simply use your ruler as your guide.
    5. Find one length of ⅞" Black & Pink Dotty Dots ribbon. Place the ribbon along the 4" guideline. Pin in place. 
      NOTE: If you'd rather not use pins to hold your ribbons in place, you can keep them from shifting by applying a little basting glue or strips of lightweight fusible web to the wrong side of the ribbon lengths.
    6. Edgestitch in place along both sides of the length of ribbon.
    7. Find a second length of ⅞" Black & Pink Dotty Dots ribbon. Place this ribbon ⅛" from the first ribbon. Pin or fuse in place. 
    8. Edgestitch in place along both sides of the length of ribbon.
    9. Find a length of 1½" Black with Pink Morning Glory ribbon. Place this ribbon ⅛" from the second Dotty Dots ribbon. Pin or fuse in place. 
    10. Edgestitch in place along both sides of the length of ribbon.
    11. Repeat this placement pattern on the opposite side of the bag.
    12. Then, add two additional lengths of the ⅞" Black & Pink Dotty Dots ribbon, placing them with the same ⅛" spacing. 
    13. Edgestitch in place along both sides of both lengths of ribbon.
    14. When done, as shown in the illustration at the beginning of this section, you should have three ribbons on one side of the bag body panel (this will become the top of the bag) and five ribbons on the opposite side of the bag body panel (this will become the bottom of the bag).

    Zippered pocket

    1. Re-thread the machine with thread to match the fabric in the top and bobbin.
    2. Find one 5" x 8" pocket panel and the zipper.
    3. Place the main bag body panel right side up on your work surface.
    4. Measure to find the center of top 20" side (the three ribbon side).
    5. Place your ruler along the center line.
    6. Fold the pocket panel in half (so it is now 2½" x 8"). Place the fold along the ruler at the center line. The top edge of the pocket should be 1" from the third sewn ribbon. 
    7. Pin one edge of the pocket in place.
    8. Unfold the pocket panel and pin the the rest of the pocket in place. The pocket should be right side down as shown.
    9. With a fabric pen or pencil, draw a 4" x ⅜" narrow box. This narrow box should be centered side to side on the pocket panel and 1" down from the upper edge.
    10. Stitch along the drawn box.
                
    11. Cut through the center of the box, then clip into each corner. You are cutting through both layers.
    12. Turn the pocket right side out, bring it through the opening to the back of the bag.
    13. Smooth out the corners of the box. Normally you would just press the box flat, but with the PUL, you need to pin it flat.
    14. Place the opening over the zipper, centering the coil. Pin in place. 
    15. Attach the Zipper foot. Edgestitch the zipper in place.
    16. Go around all four sides, opening and closing the zipper as necessary to keep the zipper pull out of the way of the needle.
    17. When the zipper is sewn in place, flip the bag body panel to the wrong side.
    18. Find the remaining 5" x 8" pocket panel. Place it right side down directly on top of the sewn pocket panel. All edges of both panels should be flush. Pin in place through all the layers.
                
    19. Flip the bag body panel to the right side. Edgestitch around all four outer edges of the pocket through all three layers. Remember to pivot at each corner.
      NOTE: The pocket is thick enough that you should be able to simply follow the edge with your presser foot, "feeling" through the fabric. If you are uncertain about your ability to keep your stitching accurate and straight, measure and draw in guidelines to follow. You are working on the right side of the fabric, so make sure you use a fabric pen or pencil that will wash or wipe away easily or disappear with exposure to the air.

      NOTE: If you have trouble with the PUL sliding through the machine at this point, play a layer or parchment or wax paper underneath the fabric. It can be easily torn away when the stitching is complete.

    Drawcord channels

    1. On both raw side edges of the main panel (the 20" sides), fold back the edge ¼" and machine baste this narrow hem in place. You can measure, pin and stitch, or simply use a Quarter Inch Seam foot.
      NOTE: As above with the strap, this basting step is a replacement for pressing.
    2. Find the exact center of this newly hemmed side.
    3. Measure 1" from the finished edge and mark the placement for the ¼" eyelet.
    4. Insert the eyelet. If you are new to inserting grommets, check out our tutorial (don't worry, grommets and eyelets are used rather interchangeably): How to Insert Metal Grommets.
    5. Fold up the finished side edge an additional ¾" and pin in place.
    6. Edgestitch in place, staying as close as possible to that inner folded edge, to create the drawcord channel.
    7. Repeat to create the drawcord channel on the opposite side.

    Toggles

    1. Find the two beads, the two lengths of shock cord, and the two toggles.
    2. Slip one length of cord through one bead.
    3. Thread one end of the cord up, over and out through the two holes of the toggle. Pull the cord through so it extends evenly from both sides with the bead at the center.
    4. Feed both ends of the cord through the eyelet, feeding one end through the channel in one direction and the other end in the other direction. The cord is thick enough to easily work it through the channel without a safety pin.
    5. Pull each end of the cord through so it just barely extends out the end of the channel on both sides. Pin in place.
    6. Machine baste across each end to hold the cord in place during the remainder of the construction.
    7. Repeat to attach the toggle and cord to the opposite side.

    Strap, main seam and optional air-release eyelets

    1. Place the bag body panel right side up on your work surface.
    2. Find the finished strap.
    3. Place the strap right side down (ribbon side down) along the upper raw edge of the bag body panel. Align the 1½" Black with Pink Morning Glory ribbon on the strap with the 1½" Black with Pink Morning Glory ribbon on the bag at both the top and bottom of the bag panel. Pin in place, making sure the strap is not twisted along its length. 
    4. Pin in place. You can machine baste in place for extra security. 
    5. Fold the completed bag body panel in half, aligning the long raw sides and sandwiching the strap between the layers. Carefully align all the ribbons. 
    6. Pin in place along the length of the panel. Stitch in place using a ½" seam allowance.
    7. Turn the bag right side out
    8. At the bottom end (the five ribbon end), add two 5/32" eyelets to either side of the seam. Mark the position for each eyelet ¼" out from the bag center seam line and ¼" up from the casing seam.
    9. Following manufacturer's instructions or our tutorial, insert each eyelet. These help release air, allowing the yoga mat to easily slide into the bag.
    10. Cinch up the bottom end, drop in your mat, cinch up the top end and proceed to class. 

    Contributors

    Project Design: Alicia Thommas      
    Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

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    Comments (3)

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Palak - thanks for sharing our post with your followers.

    mplotnik said:
    mplotnik's picture

    Thanks for the great tutorial,,,,, gee Im thinking if I win the Janome DC2013 I would just bet it could handle every aspect of sewing on this project !!! Fingers and toes crossed... thanks for the great projects.

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