Thursday, February 3, 2011


Microwave Potato Bag

I know there are a lot of tutorials out there on how to make one of these but I thought one more wouldn't hurt. I think I do mine just a bit different as far as finishing the ends. Let's see if I can get this information out there in an easy and informative way and without leaving out too much. This pattern makes 4 of them from a yard of fabric. I know you are going to want to give some away so why not just cut them out and do them? Here we go!

Equipment needed:
Sewing Machine
Rotary Cutter
Cutting Mat
I want to stop here and tell you, if you do not have a rotary cutter and mat by now you really need to get one. I use mine not only for my sewing and quilting but also for my paper crafts. You will also see in my photos that I occasionally use it too much and ended up with paint and stain on it. Oops! Don’t do that! OK…back to list…….
One yard of COTTON fabric, No need to prewash…that comes later
One yard of COTTON muslin or any other fabric you want for a liner
1 1/3 yards of COTTON batting, it is called Warm Tator
COTTON thread in your choice of color

I found all my fabrics HERE.

By now you have gotten the feeling you need to buy COTTON for this. Yes, you do. You do NOT want anything that is not COTTON. Right down to the thread. It is because anything that has something else like polyester in it should not to be used in the microwave. It may melt or start fire or be embedded right into your food or God knows what kind of mutation might happen to you.  I have never had it happen YET and I just don’t have time to clean up any smoke damage right now or I would try it just to see.

The first thing is to press the fabric nice and flat. Fold it lining up the selvages together. (Selvages are the thick sides to the fabric) You may need to slide it back and forth to get it to hang straight and you might also end up with edges that don’t match but do it just get those selvages matched nicely and that the fabric hangs nice and straight.

I tried to make the following graphics to scale as much as possible. They are supposed to represent a 24 x 24 mat.  OK...use your imagination!

Now you lay your fabric on the cutting mat lining up the folded edge on a line at the bottom of the mat and the selvages to the top. You are going to straighten one side of this fabric. Lay the ruler along one edge using the mat as a guide for making it straight. I don’t care if it is the left or the right, whatever is comfortable for you, just make sure one edge is straight.

Cut off the excess sticking out from ruler.
Now that you have one edge straight cut a piece of fabric from that edge at 23 inches.  You will have about a 13 inch piece left over. Keep that for later. 

  We will now turn the fabric on the mat and cut off those selvages.  Your fold will now be to the right.

Once you have the selvage cut you will make your first cut at 11 inches.Your fabric is doubled, you will get two pieces from it at this first cut.

Set those two pieces aside and open up the folded piece that is left. Now you have one single layer on the mat.
Cut another 11 inch piece from the one straight edge. You should now have three - 11 x 23 pieces of fabric

With the piece that is left on the mat cut out three strips that are 2 1/2 inches wide and 23 inches long. These are going to be the bindings on the edges of the bag. Don’t get your panties in a bunch, binding is very very easy…really it is!

Now fold those skinny long pieces in half the long way and iron them. They should look like this.

Now for that left over 13 inch piece. You will open that up and cut off the selvage and cut a 23 inch piece from that end and from that cut an 11 inch piece. There will be enough left to cut one 2 1/2 inch piece that is 23 inches long for the binding for that same piece.  Press it as you did with the others. You will now have one more 11 x 23 piece for a total of 4 pieces.  You should also have 4 skinny pieces for binding. 

Cut out your muslin backing the same way only you will not need the binding pieces. 
Now we have to cut the batting in the same way. Your Warm Tator batting actually comes 23 inches wide so all you really need to do is straighten it and then cut it into 11 inch pieces just like you did the fabric. You should end up with Four – 11 x 23 pieces.

Now we will layer them all together. The muslin backing is on the bottom. If you have chosen a print fabric for the lining, make sure that it is RIGHT side DOWN. Next lay the batting on top of that and then the outside fabric with RIGHT side UP. See Photo below.

Now we are going to stitch all the layers together. This is called quilting. It is best to pin or baste the layers together just to hold them while you are quilting it. That is up to you but I highly recommend it.   I do because it keeps it from wandering around while you sew.
I like to quilt it together with just a simple meandering stitch. If that is not for you, you can just do some straight lines down the middle both ways. It is just to hold it all together when you wash it. You don’t want your batting getting all bunched up! 
This is what my meandering looked like. that you have that comes the binding!  All you have to do is match the raw edges of the skinny piece to the short side of the quilted piece.  I start out at the top edge with it hanging past about 1/8 of an inch.  I will cut that flush with the long edge when I am done.  I put a white piece of paper so you cold see where the skinny piece was.  It was hard to tell with those spuds all over the place!  Sew it together using a 1/4 inch seam.

 I like to keep sewing along the edge so when I get to the edge of the first side I grab the other end and butt it up against the side I just sewed and keep sewing. It looks kind of funny but then you just cut it apart. You only have a 23 inch piece to work with so you want to be frugal with it. Maybe these photos will help.

When you have it all sewn on, cut it apart between the gap. You will have a binding now on the top and bottom of the quilted piece. All done at once! WOOHOO

Now that you have them cut apart it is time to iron them. Press the binding piece away from the quilted piece and then up and over to the inside.  Folding it over the edge and press it well so it stays folded over.

 You can pin it in place if you wish. Now just stitch in the ditch. That means to stitch right in the seam. Be sure you are catching the folded over edge. See below.

THERE! You just put on binding and didn’t even know it. Now wasn’t that simple? This is what the other side should look like. Oh, it is lovely!

You are now on the home stretch. It is just a matter of sewing up the sides and turning it right side out.
I set my piece down, right side up. I fold the left side over 6 inches and then the right side over the top of it about and inch or so past the other edge.  It should measure about 10 1/2 inches overall. That is about what I come up with.

Pin this all in place and sew up the sides. I used about 3/8 inch seam. You can maybe do that or even 1/2 inch seam. I like to trim the seam with a pinking shears but that is up to you. You might want to trim the corners before turning right side out to reduce the bulk.

The worst part of this whole thing is that you now have to wash it to remove any of the sizing that is in the fabrics before you use it. That is easy to do, just swish it around in some cool water and a bit of soap and then stick in the dryer or just let it hang to dry. I know you can’t wait to try it so if you really want to and need to…you can use a dry iron and iron it until it is almost dry. A little moisture won’t hurt and it will just keep the spud moist while you cook it.

Here are the instructions per the Warm Tator Wrapper
It's not just for potatoes anymore!

Potatoes - 2 Large - 8 minutes
Red Potatoes - 2 Large - 8 Minutes
Sweet Potatoes - 2 Medium - 10 Minutes 
Corn on the Cob - 2 Large - 6 minutes
Rolls - 3 medium - 20 seconds

Estimates based on an 1100 watt microwave oven with a turntable. If you do not have a turntable, you will need to turn your bag over at the midpoint of the suggested cook time to prevent scorching.  Wash raw vegetables prior to cooking.  Drying is not necessary as the extra moisture aids in cooking.
Do not leave microwave unattended while cooking in case flames shoot out the door and up the ceiling and engulf your entire kitchen. 
Just kidding but you might want to keep an eye on it the first few times you use it so you know how long to cook something.

Happy Tator Bakin’!!!


  1. my you have been busy today after such an adventurous nite ! Don't forget to blog about your harrowing night.... and take re-created pictures !

    I am waiting for that post !

    and... you are so funny..... potato

  2. I've never seen these. How do you cook the "taters' in these. Does it make them better?