Tuesday, August 16, 2011

You Say Potato, I Say Po-tah-to (aka the potato bag tutorial)

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I sure do love baked potatoes, but what I don't love is using my gas oven in the summer. I figured why not make a potato bag? And while I'm at it, why not make a tutorial so you can make one too?

Ok, these are easy peasy. Especially if you don't try to fancy it up like I originally did. More on that later.

Materials needed:

Two pieces of 100% cotton fabric-11 inches x 20-22 inches

One piece of 100% cotton batting-cut to same size as your fabric pieces. Warm and Natural works great. They even make a Tater Batting specifically for this project that hasn't been chemically treated. You can just use the regular stuff though.   Update: I recently found out that Warm and Natural batting is NOT 100% cotton. Who'da thunk it? The tater batting that The Warm Company makes IS 100% cotton though. Please look for 100% cotton batting for this project. 

100% cotton thread for piecing.

Please make sure your materials are all 100% cotton. We don't want any fires in our microwaves.

Ready? Let's go!

Grab your two cuts of fabric and batting

Lay them on top of each other in this order:

Lining fabric-right side up
Outer fabric-right side down

Now pin the heck out of the short sides so your batting doesn't shift (don't clip your corners like mine shows, that's part of the story I'm going to tell you later)

Then stitch down the sides, from one end to the other (your walking foot will be really helpful when stitching this bad boy)

Grab the lining fabric

And turn it so it's right sides out and the batting is in the middle.

Give it a good press then topstitch one side only (one of the short sides that you just sewed together)

Now fold down the topstitched edge about 3 inches. Yes, you want your lining to be on the outside as you fold. (and you want to ignore the fact that I took the picture before I remembered to topstitch the edge.)

Then fold up the bottom

You want the edges to overlap by 1/2" to 1"

Now pin that sucker together and stitch down both sides, making sure to go slowly over the part where it overlaps. Also make sure you backstitch or stitch the overlap more than once to secure it.

After stitching, go back and zig zag or serge the edges to finish them

Then flip it right side out and you have yourself a potato bag!

Easy, right?

Ok, here is what NOT to do. I originally thought I couldn't live with the raw edges on the inside of the bag. So, I stitched it all the way around and left an opening for turning. Then I turned it, stitched it closed and then tried to fold it and stitch it shut. Well, that was all fine and dandy until I attempted to sew through about 12 layers of fabric and 3 layers of batting. It wasn't very pretty, and I have a machine that can handle that kind of load! I ended up with a bent needle and a very large and very wonky seam allowance. So, the reason you see cut corners and some previous stitching in some of my pictures is because I ripped it all out and did it this way instead :)

Now for the cooking directions...

Wash and wrap up to 4 medium potatoes in paper towels
Put them in the bag
Put the bag into the microwave, make sure it doesn't touch the walls
Cook for 4-8 minutes

That's it! They come out so nice and fluffy. If you use larger potatoes you need to raise the cook time, just keep an eye on it.

Also, allow the bag to cool completely between batches if you cook more than one.

Oh, and wash it before you use it. Don't use any fabric softener, you don't want those chemicals left in there.

The bag can also be used to cook corn and warm tortillas and rolls!

update: I warmed some tortillas in this for the first time tonight. They went from frozen to perfect in 2 minutes. I'm definitely going to be keeping this in my kitchen!


Cindy said...

What a great idea! I have not heard of a potato bag before, but this looks great!

Heather said...

I used to have one of these and used it all the time before it got ruined. Can't wait to make another one

Nelda said...

I love mine. I surge mine togather and it nice inside. I have made lots for gifts and they all love them.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for the info on the type of batting to use. I received one as a gift, and the precious giver couldn't remember what type of
batting to use. I so appreciate your directions!

kissmyfranny said...

I originally found a potato bag at a thrift store and loved it. I wanted to make some for Christmas gifts and found your pattern. Thank you for this great pattern and instructions. I made 10 for Christmas of 2014 and just made 4 more today.

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