This DIY Gym Bag Will Give Your Workout a Serious Upgrade
Categories: DIY

This DIY Gym Bag Will Give Your Workout a Serious Upgrade

Hey all! Irene here, Production Assistant at Brit + Co. Finding time to work out does not come easy to me. Doing squats is hard enough, but fitting them in is almost just as hard and I have yet to nail the after-work gym routine. Gym bags can be bulky and, let’s be honest, not the most stylish. It’s time for a gym bag that is so cute, you’ll actually want to work out.

We teamed up with Cotton to make a DIY gym bag that’s the perfect accessory for your workout outfit. I was really excited to do this DIY project because the challenge was to make a bag cute enough to go to brunch but still be functional enough to be an actual gym bag. We used cotton canvas and lining, so the bag is machine washable, and the best part is that, in total, this bag cost less than $50 to make. The canvas material also makes it super sturdy to carry along on all your adventures. Though this bag won’t resolve all your schedule limitations, it will help you seamlessly transition from your workout class to brunch, work or whatever’s next!

Materials and Tools:

  • 2 yards cotton canvas
  • 2 yards cotton lining
  • ½ yard zipper
  • (2) 1 x 24-inch strips of webbed ribbon
  • sewing machine
  • pins
  • ruler
  • pen
  • scissors

Instructions:

Note: When measuring fabric, be sure to cut one half to one inch extra all the way around for easier sewing.

1. First comes making the zipper gusset. Measure two 3 x 19-inch rectangles on both the canvas and lining fabric. Lay one lining rectangle horizontally and face up. Place the zipper face up on top, aligned with the bottom edge of the fabric. Place one canvas strip face down on top. Pin and sew the three layers together. Repeat this step for the other side.

2. Cut two 2 ½ x 4-inch pieces of canvas. Fold them in half, width-way, right sides together, and sew down both sides. Turn out and pin raw edges to each end of the zipper so the fabric forms tabs. Stitch along the edges.

3. To make the side panels, cut two 5x 14-inch rectangles from both the canvas and lining fabric. Layer one lining fabric (face up), the zipper gusset (face up) and the canvas (face down), and pin the short end. Stitch together.

4. Keeping the layers together, stitch down both long ends. Be sure not to sew the zipper gusset. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the other end. Turn out.

5. To make the front pocket/yoga mat carrier, cut a 9 x 14-inch rectangle from both the canvas and lining fabric. Place the two rectangles together, right sides facing each other. Pin and stitch along the long edges. Turn out.

6. Cut two 14 x 19-inch rectangles from both the canvas and lining fabric. These will be the front and back of the bag. Layer the canvas and lining together, right sides out, to make two panels. Place pocket in the middle of one canvas piece, both right sides up. This is the front piece of the bag. Pin down both panels.

7. Take your zipper gusset. Place one ribbon on one long edge gusset, curving it to make a handle. Pin down to secure. Place the canvas piece with the pocket face down on top. Pin and stitch. Repeat on the other side with the second canvas piece. Turn out. You should have a cross-shaped piece.

8. Pin the edges of the panels together, right sides in. Stitch from the corners of the zip gusset down to the bottom edges.

9. To make the bottom of the bag, cut one 5 x 19-inch rectangle from both the canvas and lining fabric.

10. With the bag inside out, pin the bottom edges of the bag to the bottom panel. Make sure the lining side of the bottom panel is facing out. Stitch along the edges. Turn out.

11. Slide your yoga mat through the pocket and you’re good to go!

First comes making the zipper gusset. Measure two 3 x 19-inch rectangles on both the canvas and lining fabric.

Lay one lining rectangle horizontally and face up. Place the zipper face up on top, aligned with the bottom edge of the fabric. Place one canvas strip face down on top.

Pin and sew the three layers together. Repeat this step for the other side.

Your zipper gusset should look like this.

Cut two 2 ½ x 4 inch pieces of canvas.

Fold them in half, width-way, right sides together, and sew down both sides. Turn out.

Pin raw edges to each end of the zipper so the fabric forms tabs. Stitch along the edges.

To make the side panels, cut two 5 x 14-inch rectangles from both the canvas and lining fabric.

Layer one lining fabric (face up), the zipper gusset (face up) and the canvas (face down), and pin the short end. Stitch together.

Keeping the layers together, pin and stitch down both long ends. Be sure not to sew the zipper gusset.

Repeat steps four and five for the other end. Turn out.

To make the front pocket/yoga mat carrier, cut a 9 x 14-inch rectangle from both the canvas and lining fabric.

Place the two rectangles together, right sides facing each other. Pin and stitch along the long edges.

Turn out.

Cut two 14 x 19-inch rectangles from both the canvas and lining fabric. These will be the front and back of the bag.

Layer the canvas and lining together, right sides out, to make two panels.

Place pocket in the middle of one canvas piece, both right sides up. This is the front piece of the bag.

Pin down both panels.

Take your zipper gusset. Place one ribbon on one long edge gusset, curving it to make a handle. Pin down to secure.

Place the canvas piece with the pocket face down on top. Pin and stitch. Repeat on the other side with the second canvas piece.

Turn out. You should have a cross-shaped piece.

Pin the edges of the panels together, right sides in. Stitch from the corners of the zip gusset down to the bottom edges.

To make the bottom of the bag, cut one 5 x 19-inch rectangle from both the canvas and lining fabric. With the bag inside out, pin the bottom edges of the bag to the bottom panel. Make sure the lining side of the bottom panel is facing out. Stitch along the edges.

Turn out.

Slide your yoga mat through the pocket and you’re good to go!

Is Visual Designer Marisa smiling from her post-workout endorphins or because she loves this gym bag so much? We may never know.

Post-yoga brunch, here I come!

Where will you carry this gym bag? Share your photos with us on Instagram using the hashtag #britstagram and #CottonDIY!



DIY Production + Styling: Irene Lee

Model: Marisa Kumtong

Photography: Chris Andre

Advertisement by Cotton.