I have to bring my own mat to body boot camp. I don't have a strap for it because I've always used it at my house and never cared if it unrolled. Now I need a strap and instead of buying one ($5 to $20!), I decided to make my own. Now I'm a trendy lady at the gym :)
1 strip 5" x WOF
2 strips 5" x 28"
- (This is for wrapping around your mat and making a velcro closure. I suggest measuring your mat before you cut this to ensure enough length. See note below)
|Measure your mat for the smaller strips|
*Note: I have a large, fluffy mat for weight lifting and more back support, not a thin yoga mat. My strip will be longer than yours if you have a thin mat. Be sure to measure around your mat and account for finished seams and velcro overlap. I also wanted a more adjustable closure since I don't always roll it tightly.
|My three pieces. I'm only using one fabric choice.|
Working with the long strip:
This strip will be inserted into the sandwich made by the two smaller strips. If you want to make a finished seam, feel free (ie, wrong sides together and then turning it right side out). I'm not going to in this tutorial.
1. Fold the edges in a half inch and press. I'm not super great at this, so bare with me.
I started with the long sides and then folded the ends. The ends on this strip don't have to be perfect because it will be inserted into the middle of the two smaller strips.
|Ignore the bow. Try for a straight line if you can manage.|
2. Once you have your edges pressed, fold the strip in half, hot-dog style.
3. To give the strap more stability, I added in some interface. If you don't need or want this stiffness you can skip over this part. A lot of people use fusible interfacing. I didn't. I cut a strip of interface ~ 1 7/8" (because my folded strip is 2" and I didn't want it to interfere with the fold lines) and slipped it inside of the creases. This held it well. If you have fusible, cut the same size strip and fuse the interfacing to the fabric where I did. Follow the manufacturers instructions.
|This is optional|
|Turning the corner|
When you turn the corner, stop the desired distance from the edge. For example, I was using ~ 1/8" seam so I stopped sewing ~1/8" from the edge. Life the presser foot with the needle down, pivot your fabric strip, drop the presser foot and keep moving. It is important to note that the closer to the edge you are the smaller the gap will be on the non-crease side of your strip. So, a 1/4" seam will give you more... floppy fabric... if that makes any sense.
Working with the smaller strip:
5. Follow steps 1 through 3. You should now have one long strap that is finished and two small strips that are pressed.
6. Now you are going to start putting your strips together. If your fabric is directional, you may want to lay it out on top of your mat to ensure you will sew the fabric the way you like. Locate the center of one small strip (length-wise) and the center of your long strip (width wise). Make sure that your opening (non-crease side) of your small strip is point up towards your long strip.
|Pins are in the center of my strip|
7. Insert the end of the long strip into the small strip, aligning the center. Pin.
Go ahead and pin the rest of the strip together.
*Note: These ends are the ends to be concerned about matching perfectly, since you will see these, though they will be on the underside of your mat.
I had a little bit that hung over the edge, so I took my small scissors and snipped off a piece. This way when I sew it together, the finished result will look nicer.
8. Sew the entire way around the small strip, as you did with your long strip. Ensure that your long strip is tucked into your small strip and sew across.
You will have some extra. Just roll it up and continue on your way.
9. When you come to the end of the long strip, back stitch to the beginning to strengthen the seam. Stitch forward over, and finish sewing around the strip.
You should now have a strap that looks like this:
10. Repeat steps 6 through 9 on the opposite end of your long strip. You should have a result like this:
|Center, Pin, and Sew!|
Adding the velcro:
At this point I wrapped my strap back around my mat to make sure everything was going smoothly. I flipped it over to gauge the overlap.
My mat had unrolled slightly from what I started with, but because I chose to have an approximate 4" overlap, this is totally fine. Desired actually.
11. Now you need to think about how you want your velcro attached. I wanted mine to have a large range of fastening options because I don't roll with the same consistency each time. To do this I placed two "fuzzy" pieces, length-wise and one "rough" piece width-wise. Pin velcro (bobby pins work well), one on the top side and the other on the bottom of the opposite side.
I chose to sew these on one at a time to reduce bulk. I started like this:
12. Sew around the edges of your velcro. I back stitched for security. I would suggest not not using sticky velcro since you will probably end up ripping it off if you use your mat enough.
I changed my thread color so that it was more invisible.
This is what it should look like after you have sewed on your three pieces (if you are mimicking my closure method).
*Note: I am not concerned about how this thread pattern will show through my straps, though I did use a much more muted color so you couldn't see the stitch unless you really looked. If you are concerned about this, attach the velcro pieces to one side of the pressed hot-dog before assembling the straps together (before step 6). This will hide the seam lines. It may also involve more thinking on your part, so watch out.
13. Attach velcro to opposite side. I wrapped mine again, just in case! Make sure your shoulder strap doesn't turn on itself or you won't be a happy camper.
This is what you will have when it is finished.
Wrap around your mat and enjoy!