NOTE: You will find an update with a new and simpler model at the end of this page. I decided to add information about this model slightly separated from the initial main Atelier Oursonne Yogabag but still on the same page so please keep reading (or scrolling down)
The yoga bags that I am making are all very individual, there is no mass production or anything involved and I start from scratch each time, looking at my fabrics and trying out which combinations would look good. I will then usually get approval (or not) from the very opinionated junior expert in Atelier Oursonne..
Shape and Size:
My yoga bags are very spacious bags with round sides. It is big enough for mats up to 68cm width, a towel and other essentials.
Inside is a small bag for your valuables which you can unhook and take with you.
The zip goes over almost the whole length and is approximately 68cm long so you can put your mat in easily.
For added strength, most seams are top stitched and the sides have an extra layer of interfacing.
There are three main design types:
The first is a rather simple design with clear lines with a main colour and a contrasting edge (all in strong shades), with two appliqued stripes of a patterned fabric. (In fact, one of the fabrics used for this design type is a very precious left over from a previous project, I only had enough for two bags).
The second design has the same kind of edge but instead of a plain main with stripes, it features three blocks that go around the whole bag in diagonal lines (I am a big fan of diagonal lines, in case you did not know that yet).
For the third one, I am using a coated cotton which is waterproof. As each seam will make it less waterproof, I am only using one fabric, no fancy patchworking here, sorry. But the two fabrics I am using have really beautiful patterns. For this type, I am also using shop bought polypropylene webbing for the straps rather than the same material as for the bags as I wanted to be able to use a plain colour as a contrast (same for the zip) whilst still using a material that does not get soaked in rain.
All bags are lined with cotton and have a little bag for phone and keys hooked inside so it can be taken out easily.
material and care instructions:
Apart from the metal parts and the zips, everything is made of cotton.
I usually buy my fabrics on Shepherds Bush (Goldhawk Road) which is one of the most famous fabric shopping areas in London. (I live very close by.)
In the case of the yoga bags, I have also had a look at the fabric section in John Lewis, the local Cath Kidston branch and the internet. Some of the more vintage looking fabrics (like the spots) and the coated cotton for the waterproof version are from specialist online shops.
All fabrics (even the coated cotton) are machine washable at 30C, however because of the metal parts I would recommend to hand wash the bags(also for the sake of your washing machine).
production of the yoga bag:
When I buy a new fabric, I always prewash it for two reasons: If it shrinks, it shrinks before I cut so the size will remain the same later. But more importantly, I want to make sure that the colour is not bleeding and discolouring other fabrics. So I always wash a small piece of white fabric with the new fabric. If that test fabric comes out pink (or orange for that matter), I will not use that fabric for my bags.
Once the fabrics are dry and ironed, I put them next to each other and decide on the fabric combination for the outer bag, the lining, zip and thread. I do like using contrasting zips and threads, or colours that link all the colours of the bag.
From here, it will take a minimum of 4 to 5 hours in total to put together 26 pieces of fabric, two zips, 4 metal pieces, between 2 and 5 pieces of interfacing and many, many meters of thread 🙂
Where to get them
If you live in Vorarlberg, you can get the special yoga bags “handmade for Yogastueble” in the Yogastueble in Lauterach.
If you live anywhere else, have a look at my etsy shop to see what is currently available or contact me directly.
UPDATE (february 2015)
I have added a simpler model to the range where I also use slightly different patterns and colours to suit a wider variety of tastes.
These bags are still very spacious and can fit a wide yoga mat with a towel and some extras.
This model is not lined, instead the seams are stitched and overlocked in addition for extra security and a neater look at the inside.
Although there is no more removable small bag attached, you will still find space to keep smaller items such as keys or wallet. In fact, the decorative fabric at the bottom can be used as a pocket which goes around the whole bag and is separated in three compartments. The elastic band on top of the pocket will keep it closed when the yoga bag is fully packed.