I may be on temporary hiatus from sewing while my wrist heals (no scissors), but I can still write about sewing. One of my big projects I’m working on is designing a yoga tote bag. It actually started with a surplus of fabric that would work great for a bag to carry my yoga mat in, and the fact that the bags I’m using right now aren’t designed for yoga mats. I’m the kind of person who can think of several personalized improvements to any bag or purse that would work better for me, so I decided, why not make several of these and give them to friends? Because if there is one thing better than making something awesome for yourself, it’s making something awesome for someone you care about.
I began with my requirements. There are basically two types of yoga bags–one where the rolled-up mat lies horizontally, and the other, often called a sling, where the rolled mat is vertical. Since I have a tendency to make quick turns in the near vicinity of others, a vertical bag was a must. But I have some other necessaries I want to take to class too, and for that, I need more room. My bright idea was to put a flat pouch sticking off the side of the tube where the mat goes, attached to the carry strap in some way. I tried to explain this to my sweetie and he requested a drawing around this point. I’m going to do one better, and make a 3D model in Sketchup.
So what do I need to bring to class? None of the pants I like to wear to yoga have any pockets, so everything I need will have to fit: a water bottle, a towel, ID/money, keys, phone, maybe a book, an ankle brace, and my emergency medications, which include an inhaler, an epipen, and some pills. Could throw a strap in there too. This thing is feeling heavy already!
Thinking about the physics of it, it seemed like a yoga mat, even with a bag of goodies hanging off one side of the bottom, is not going to stay vertical on its own–it’s going to slide, unless you hold the strap at your shoulder in place with one hand, like if you put your backpack on only one shoulder. My heaviest requirement is a bottle of water, and I figure I could use that as a counterweight, at least when it’s full, to keep the mat upright. So to be most effective as a counterweight, it will have to go at the far end of the pouch. I like those water bottle holders made of mesh, with elastic on top, so you can fit a nalgene but a store-bought bottle won’t fall out, thanks to the elastic. And while I have mesh, I should make the tube for the mat breathe so I don’t have to take the mat out when you I home. I looked online and most of the slings that claimed to breathe had this funny ring of mesh around the middle of the tube, so the mat would block most of the air flow.. It makes more sense to me to have it on each end, so there can actually be airflow. I also thought the pouch should have an outside mesh pouch for the towel, so it doesn’t make my book all sweaty. A keyring and a small pocket for money and ID would be great on the inside.
For closures, I can use drawstring at the top of the tube, and a zipper on top of the pouch and for the inner wallet pocket. I don’t want my towel to fall out of the outside pocket, so I think a magnet would be good there. Add some trim, lining, and zipper pull charms (a trick of my mother’s that I just love) and it sounds like the perfect yoga bag to me! Can’t wait to start actually putting a few together!