I have been doing Ashtanga yoga off and on since we moved here, so for almost 5 years. The last few years it has been more off (since I had been concentrating on ultra marathons), but this past summer (after the tragedy) I really picked it back up in earnest. I have been going regularly 2 – 3 times a week for the past 7 months. And it is great – I am getting much more flexible and that is good! I can always tell when I need to do more yoga, as my IT band will begin to hurt and other little aches and pains pop up – they all go away with a good ashtanga yoga session.
Anyway, at the end of last year, I bought some fabric to make a yoga mat bag, being inspired by my Lotta Jandotter book that has a yoga mat tote pattern. I never made the tote, and today when I went to get my mat out of the trunk for class, it had unrolled, was unwieldy and unmanageable – highly irritating to me. Right then, I decided I would make myself a yoga mat wrap (something that goes around the yoga mat and keeps it rolled up) today. One of the ladies in my class has something similar, and I figured I could make one for myself!
Since I was going to be figuring this out, I thought I should document and try to make a tutorial for other people to use. I have been loving all the tutorials I’ve found in blogland, and figured I should contribute something!
So here goes, my first ever sewing tutorial!!
Yoga Mat Wrap Tutorial:
(These are 2 completed yoga mat wraps. This tutorial is for a yoga mat that rolls up to a circumference between 15.5″ – 18″ or so)
Seam allowance: 1/2″
- 2 types of fabric (6″ x 21″ rectangles)
- light weight iron on interfacing (6″ x 21″)
- ribbon (at least 1″ thick, at least 56″ long – continuous)
- sewing machine / thread
- masking tape (optional)
- fabric pencil
Time Commitment: 2 – 3 hours (I made 2 of ’em in less than 3 hours, and that included taking photos and figuring things out as I went along)
Directions and Commentary (click on the photos to enlarge):
1) Select your complimentary fabrics and ribbon.
2) Cut your fabrics into 6″x21″ rectangles. If you have enough fabric for a couple, it is quite easy to make them all at the same time.
Now you will have 2 pieces of fabric.
3) Cut the fusible interfacing to fit your outer rectangle (in this case, the brown with large blue flowers on it).
And iron the interfacing onto your fabric. After I ironed the fabric a bit, I turned the piece over and put some parchment paper over the back side of the interfacing and ironed it that way as well.
4) Pin the right sides of your inner and outer fabric together.
5) Get sewing machine ready for 1/2″ seam allowance. I do this by putting a piece of masking tape at the 4/8″ mark – that way I know where I need to keep my fabric next to for the 1/2″ seam allowance. Makes things easier for me. This step is optional, however.
6) Sew the rectangles together with a 1/2″ seam allowance (so butt your fabric up to your masking tape line), leaving an inch or 2 opening in the middle of one of the short sides (this way, the ribbon will cover this area) to pull the wrap through.
7) Snip the corners (don’t cut the thread) and trim down the edges closer to the stitches.
8 ) Turn inside out (no photo here, sorry). Poke out corners carefully with the end of a paint brush or bone folder.
9) Iron flat – making sure your opening has both fabrics folded in (this will likely happen without you doing anything).
10) Top stitch all the way around your outer fabric, making sure that the opening gets stitched up. I start and stop right near the opening, and it is a good idea to reverse your stitches at the beginning and end to lock the stitch.
(Can you see the brown top stitching? Maybe not, but it is there! and not exactly straight – oh well)
11) Mark 7.5″ from one end of your outer fabric (I mark from the end that did not have the opening). You will only sew the ribbon from the other end to this mark.
12) Pin the ribbon, leaving an 18″ ribbon tail off each end. Put the ribbon in the middle of your outer fabric – and pin it at your 7.5″ mark (see #11) – you will not sew past this. (You can use fray check to keep the ends of the ribbon from fraying. I actually melt the very edges of the ribbon with a grill lighter [like a regular lighter, but longer and easier to use. I think I got mine at the dollar store.] – if you just barely get the edges into the flame, they will not turn black and they melt just enough to prevent future fraying.)
13) Top stitch around the ribbon and from one end to your 7.5″ mark – so you are making a long rectangle. After that, I also reinforced both short ends with a zig zag stitch. So after your 7.5″ mark you will have 7.5″ of wrap that does not have ribbon sewn onto it.
14) You are done with construction! Lay the wrap outer side (with ribbon) down and put your yoga mat on top of it.
15) Wrap in the side that the ribbon does not go to the end.
16) Wrap the other side over the first wrapped side. So the end with the ribbon that goes all the way to the end will be overlapping on some of the fabric that does not have ribbon on it.
17) Tie and you are set to go to yogity class! No more unraveled and unruly mats!
Here are the 2 wraps I made this afternoon! I hope this tutorial was clear. If not, please feel free to ask questions in the comments section – I will respond in the comment section.
Whew – writing out the directions nearly took as long as making them!