Monday, October 13, 2014

Finish Up Monday! - Manly Yoga Tote

What you say? A Finish on a Monday? What I can I say... things are a little cattywampus around here these days. I'll take a finish any 'ole day I can get one! It also gives me a chance to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving! Today is also my Dad's birthday. To say it's been a long time since I made him anything would be an understatement. I won't get into all the gory details, but we haven't always had the easiest of relationships. 
So when he asked a couple days ago if I was still sewing much (apparently he doesn't subscribe to the blog ☺) and wondered if I might make him a yoga bag, I felt like an opportunity fell into my lap. I went searching for just the right yoga bag tutorial... not too plain, not too fancy, not the same as the one I made for Ms. M.  I decided to use Amy Butler's free pattern as a jumping off point (mainly for the sizes of pattern pieces) and modify as I went.

Sewing things over the holiday week-end (i.e. when the LQS is closed!) can be a little challenging. To the stash, my friends! I found some denim left from Ade & I's Sewing Circle Totes. Though I had originally thought to do the pocket and strap in an orange print (my Dad's not afraid of colour!), there wasn't anything just right in the stash. But this Robert Kaufman remnant fit the bill nicely! Where the denim is so heavy, I opted out of lining the tote.

Sometimes I buy notions without a clear idea of exactly what they will become. This 2 inch webbing (looks like seatbelt material) came in handy for making a nice, wide, durable strap. I can't stand when straps curl up and look shlumpy. Yup, shlumpy's a word.
I tucked it into an 8 inch wide strip that I had pressed into quarters. Worked like a charm!

Then my least favourite part, sewing that pesky bottom into the bag. I reached for my Wonderclips....
This is the sort of thing that happens when you leave Wonderclips out in the open. Did I mention that Himself is life-long fidgeter? True story. Anyway....
The Wonderclips are so much easier to deal with than pins in this situation. Thanks to Dominique from The Running Thimble for pointing this out to me on the last yoga bag I made!
I didn't think ahead of time and made the bottom the same fabric as the tote body. The pocket fabric might have been a better fit here, but it's not as sturdy.

More digging in the bin of random notions...
yielded these treasures, elastic cording and a pinch closure. The Amy Butler pattern didn't have a closure system, but felt like it needed a drawstring at the least.
And done! The height is just right for the mat and the pockets are super deep. I don't see keys or a phone getting out of those pockets!
When it was unwrapped, Dad pronounced it just right. He'll be heading off to yoga class tomorrow with it over his shoulder! Only now Mom's a little less enamoured of her less than fancy yoga tote - made sometime at least 10 years ago. A sewist's work is never done! ☺

So, what I am I thankful for today? Honestly, with very little thought, the list grows long... quickly. I am of course thankful for Himself and our much wished for Double Trouble (set to arrive very soon). But I'm also thankful that I was able to enjoy a wonderful meal and quality time with my Mom and Dad today. There was a time in the not so distant past that I never thought that would be possible. So very, very thankful. Here's hoping that you too had some thankful moments today. We don't have to save it for once a year!


P.S. Shamelessly linking up with Anything Goes Monday @ Stitch by Stitch. I mean, it's not every Monday I have something to blog about! 


  1. What a wonderful gift - especially the enjoyment of time together!!

  2. Very neat gift! A friend of mine made a yoga bag for me years ago and I absolutely love it. I just need to start going again! Himself is too cute....your WonderClips remind me of wedding rings :) Congrats on the finish and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family :)

  3. Awesome yoga bag! Sounds like a perfect Thanksgiving for you.

  4. Another job well done Jenn! :) I read big brother's post this morning about heading off to class with his wonderful new bag over his shoulder.

  5. A happy and thankful day to you!

  6. What an awesome bag! I will definitely be making one. Great post. I found you on Anything Goes Monday. Please stop by and visit my blog when you get a chance.

  7. Great post - had to laugh at the wonder clips bit... looks like you had a great opportunity to make something for your dad, I am sure it will be appreciated.

  8. Great job. You're going to be a pro at making these bags.

  9. Your bag turned out great and I love that you could make it completely out of stuff you already had in the studio. I think we may be real sewers now! I have been using my leftovers from the Circle tote too! It's pretty neat that you are spending time with your Dad. I am with you, never really thought that would happen, but so happy it is!

  10. What a lovely professional looking bag! Congratulations on a wonderful finish!

  11. I love the bag, but I am too distracted now - chortling at the mental image of my mid-70s, former farmer father trying to do yoga. He can hardly see his feet, let alone reach them!

  12. Cool bag and your quilt is looking good as well.

  13. The yoga bag is appearing regularly at Halifax Yoga. The Turkey burner challenge has us there almost every day.

  14. I, too share a trouble relationship with a parent. It has been strained for most of my life; however just recently my sister and I were able to share a time with BOTH our mother and father together and in complete harmony, as well as me and the one parent. It has slowly grown into an understanding of who we are now and just accepting it as is. It was beyond wonderful when we were all together and I only hope it continues peacefully! So glad you were able to do this for him and hope your journey continues strong! *hugs*


Your comments make my day! I read them all and do my best to reply. If you're a no-reply blogger, I can't reply no matter how nice your comment is. Don't know what a no-reply blogger is? Check out this post -