Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
28
SEP
2010

Microwave baked potato pouch

by: Chica

Microwave baked potato pouch
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I’ve got a project I’ve been meaning to show you for a while that I know you’re going to love. A few months ago, our friend Mary joined me and Jo for one of our all-day craft sessions. Her project for the day was to create about a dozen microwave baked potato pouches for teacher gifts at the end of the school year. As soon as I saw what they were planning, I grabbed my camera and made Mary show us all the steps so I could share it with you.

The pouches are made of all cotton so that you can safely use them to cook your potatoes in the microwave, with fantastic results. They are also really easy to make.

To start off, you’ll need to pick some fabric for the pouch. Of course you can use anything here as long as it’s 100% cotton, but I absolutely love Mary’s choice of potato printed fabric. You’ll also need some 100% cotton batting. Don’t use polyester, or it won’t be safe in the microwave. I had never worked with cotton batting before this, but having had my hands on it now, I don’t think I can ever go back to polyester for any quilted project. The cotton feels so lovely!

microwave baked potato pouch

Cut the fabric to 11.5″ wide and 48″ long. Cut the batting to 11.5″ wide and 24″ long. Fold the fabric in half, lengthwise, with right sides touching. Then place the batting on top.

microwave baked potato pouchmicrowave baked potato pouch

Flip the whole thing over, because it’s a little easier to work with that way. You should see the folded crease of potato fabric on one end, and the two open ends on the other.

microwave baked potato pouchmicrowave baked potato pouch

Take the stack to the sewing machine and sew the fabric and batting together around all four sides, but leave a gap of about 4 inches on one end.

microwave baked potato pouchmicrowave baked potato pouch

You probably think it looks wrong to have the pieces sewn together the way they are, with the batting showing on one side, but hang on, because it will make sense in a minute.

Take some scissors and snip the corners of the fabric to remove the excess. This will help keep the corners from being bulky later. Now flip the whole thing inside out.

microwave baked potato pouchmicrowave baked potato pouch

Close up the gap you left by tucking the ends of the fabric in and running a row of stitches across the seam.

microwave baked potato pouchmicrowave baked potato pouch

Okay, now you’ve got this big padded rectangle that you’ve sew all up and that resembles something like a placemat. Doesn’t seem quite like a pouch yet, but you’re about to fix that.

Fold the right side up and over until it’s about 4 or 5 inches from the left side. Then fold the left side over like a flap.

microwave baked potato pouchmicrowave baked potato pouch

The two ends should overlap about an inch and the longer (right) end should be on top.

microwave baked potato pouch

Use the sewing machine to sew a row of stitches on the top and bottom edges of the pouch. Turn the whole thing inside out (again).

microwave baked potato pouchmicrowave baked potato pouch

Now you have your finished pouch with all the nice, smooth edges. It’s easy to open up the flap at the top and slip the potato inside.

microwave baked potato pouchmicrowave baked potato pouch

Just pop the pouch into the microwave and cook the potatoes as usual. Timing will depend, of course, on the size of your potatoes and the power of your microwave, so be sure to watch carefully the first time you use it.

microwave baked potato pouch

These pouches are great Christmas gifts for teachers or anyone for whom you want to buy a little something at the holidays. I think I will sew a few of these and have them ready in my gift closet for those last-minute gift emergencies!

Microwave baked potato pouch
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24 comments so far:

  • 1
    Joy 09/28/2010 at 1:18 pm

    Yeah for Chica and Jo…AGAIN!! I bought one of these at a craft fair a long time ago and have been wanting to make some for gifts! Perfect timing as always!! This Christmas is a Chica and Jo Christmas for my family!

  • 2
    Chica 09/28/2010 at 1:19 pm

    So glad we could come to your rescue, Joy :)

  • 3
    Andrea 09/28/2010 at 2:00 pm

    You may want to “quilt” the pouch as cotton batting will fall apart if not sewn every 6″ or so. I assume this pouch will be laundered as old potato juice is really smelly.

  • 4
    Jeanne 09/28/2010 at 3:13 pm

    Ummmmm, sorry to be so dense, but what’s the purpose of these? Does it make the potato cook faster, or more evenly?

    And a second question: Can a non-sewer make these? I don’t even have a sewing machine. I use Stitch Witchery to repair hems….

    Thanks as always!

  • 5
    Gayle 09/28/2010 at 3:39 pm

    These also make nice ice pack holders, I got the gel filled ice pack and put it inside instead of a towel, works great!

  • 6
    Kellie Dobbie 09/29/2010 at 10:06 am

    Those potato printed fabric has got me confused…they actually like the real thing! Anyway, thanks for the tutorial.

  • 7
    Chica 09/29/2010 at 12:40 pm

    Andrea, the quilting is a good idea for some extra stability if you plan to get a lot of use out of your bag.

    Jeanne, using a bag like this to bake your potato is supposed to make them come out extra fluffy, and it holds in just the right amount of moisture so that the potato doesn’t come out soggy or hard.

    Gayle, what a fabulous idea to use them as an ice pack holder!

    Kellie, it is a pretty realistic-looking print :)

  • 8
    Mary W 10/02/2010 at 12:50 am

    How fun!! Glad I could be part of your fun filled craft day!!! You both do a wonderful job with your posts. Keep up the good work and never stop CRAFTING!!! Thanks again

  • 9
    Phyl 10/18/2010 at 8:40 pm

    Just love this project. I ordered the fabric @ fabric.com….it is back ordered, probably due to this project. Anyway has anyone actually used this pouch to cook potatoes? I would like to include directions on use and washing with the gift. Thanks

  • 10
    Jo 10/18/2010 at 9:24 pm

    Phyl, I’ve used it a lot to cook potatoes. The use in the microwave will depend on the microwave. Mine has a potato button on it that I use. Most microwaves nowadays do so that is how I do it. As far as washing goes, I have just rinsed it out after a few uses by hand and hung it from a hanger to dry. Seems to work just fine!

  • 11
    Felinda 11/14/2010 at 10:47 pm

    The originator of these potato bags is the owner of Taos Quilting in Taos, New Mexico. He is very proud of his potato bags, and if asked about them, will give you the whole story.

    Their purpose is to keep all of the moisture in the potato, as well as all the flavor, nutrients, vitamins, etc. The potatoes come out so tender that you can eat the skin and cut with a fork. In order for them to work the best, you wash the potatoes, then dry them. Wrap them in a piece of paper towel first, then place them in the bag and cook the potatoes at your normal time. DO NOT pierce the potatoes before you microwave them, or you will defeat the purpose of the bag.

    As the tute says, make sure you use only 100% cotton or you could start a fire. I love mine, and buy a few every time I go to Taos to use as gifts. Now I can make my own, so thanks for the tutorial!

  • 12
    carol 05/22/2011 at 9:55 pm

    I ould like to purchase a few of these pouches as I can not sew

  • 13
    Chica 05/23/2011 at 9:31 pm

    I’m sorry, Carol, but we do not sell these pouches. Perhaps you have a friend who likes to sew and can make them for you?

  • 14
    Faye 12/10/2011 at 8:41 pm

    Oh My Gosh
    These pouches are the best thing, I love them, My sister-in-law in Illinois gave me one while I was visiting, I really thought it was not going to work after fixing my first baked potato in the pouch I was hooked, It makes the best potato, I am also going to try corn on the cob and broccoli, I am so glad I found your link, I am going to have fun making these for gifts and looking through and seeing what else I can make. Thank you so much

  • 15
    Carol Jackson 07/19/2012 at 1:02 am

    I received a potato bag as a gift and wondered why I’d use it…wasn’t the microwave alone good enuf? The first use convinced me…the potatoes came out fluffy, cooked all the way through with no un-done portions! Following the same cooking directions that are written in this tutorial produced delish bakers and corn on the cob too. I will now make them to give as gifts. Glad to have found this site.

  • 16
    Katie 10/30/2012 at 1:01 am

    Love my potatoe bag and have been on look out for tutorial on them so i could make some for gifts-makes them so good and so much faster! I use mine for warming tortillas too! warms fast and not dry! So of course I do have a larger one at home which is good for smaller ones but wanting a bigger for larger tortillas!

  • 17
    Chica 10/30/2012 at 8:15 am

    Thanks for the tortilla tip, Katie. I’d never thought of that!

  • 18
    Sandy 12/10/2013 at 8:06 pm

    I am so excited to try your instructions on the potatoe bag. I am alittle worried and will ask you. It says 100% batting. I guess I bought the wrong material? I bought 100% quilting but it has pollester between the batting. Can I use this? I couldn’t find 100% batting.

  • 19
    Chica 12/11/2013 at 10:05 am

    Sandy, you need to be sure to use all 100% cotton materials, including batting. Polyester is not safe to use in the microwave.

  • 20
    Maria 12/12/2013 at 12:28 am

    Thanks for another great idea.

  • 21
    Sandy 12/13/2013 at 6:46 pm

    So I found my cotton batting and made sure everything was 100% cotton down to the thread. Just made my first bag and have enjoyed it so much. These will be great gifts for the spare of the moment. Thanks again… PS, appreciated the quick response. Merry Christmas!

  • 22
    Chica 12/14/2013 at 9:17 am

    Glad we could help, Sandy. Merry Christmas to you too!

  • 23
    Nancy 05/06/2014 at 4:01 pm

    do you have a pattern for a smaller amount of potatoes ? The one shown appears to hold more than 6
    thank you

  • 24
    Chica 05/09/2014 at 8:20 am

    Nancy, the photo shows 6 potatoes, but they are all very small. We don’t have another version of the pattern, but you are welcome to adapt the measurements as desired to create a bag the size you want.

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We are two best friends sharing our creative journey. You never know what we will be into each time you visit. We could be throwing a unique party, refinishing a flea market find, or whipping up a new cupcake recipe. We invite you to join us for the ride as we tackle life one project at a time!

Please visit Chica and Jo at http://www.chicaandjo.com for more DIY projects and clever ideas!