sewing small talk: recipe comments

Hello friends!

I’m a little late giving you my Grandma’s pumpkin pie recipe, but at our house this is an all-year-long favorite so don’t wait until next Thanksgiving to make it, OK? S adores pumpkin pie, and I think it might be because this version uses milk instead of super-sweet condensed milk. But who knows? The recipe is at the end of this post, so read on.

But first, I was thinking about recipes and cooking blogs the other day and feeling thankful I’m not a food blogger. I mean, have you ever read the comments on food blogs? They are often both amusing and incredibly irritating. My favorites are the ones where a reader complains that the recipe didn’t turn out correctly, but then they also admit that they either didn’t follow the steps or use the correct ingredients. But my second favorite are the comments where someone wants to completely alter a recipe and asks how to do it. For example, a (fictional) comment on a recipe for, I don’t know, Kiwi Fruit Ice Cream. (There isn’t such a recipe as far as I know, but I have a kiwi fruit allergy so I’ll use it as an example.) “I’m allergic to kiwi fruit. Is there a way to make this ice cream without kiwi?” I mean, if you have a kiwi fruit allergy don’t make the recipe! (Besides, salted caramel ice cream is so much better….)

But you’ve read these comments too, right? So I thought that this week we should have a “contest” to see who can write the worst/funniest review for a (fictional) sewing pattern or sewing tutorial. Who can be the worst commenter? Let off a little pre-holiday steam and show us what you’ve got in the comments, OK? I know you can do it.

And in the meantime I’ll pretend to be a food blogger and leave you with Grandma’s recipe. Although, unlike real food bloggers you only get an old photo of my wine bottle rolling pin back from when we first moved to Madrid and I didn’t have a real rolling pin. You’re only getting this photo because I’m cooking lunch for about 15 people tomorrow, so I don’t have time to go looking for a real pumpkin pie photo!

wine bottle rolling pin

Grandma B’s Pumpkin Pie

Whisk together:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t salt

Then whisk in:

  • 1 1/2 cups of canned pumpkin (or cooked, mashed butternut squash)
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • a little less than 1 cup of milk

Pour the mixture into a prepared crust and bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

So easy! The hardest part is making the crust, but I’ll leave that part up to you.

And, now, I turn it over to you. Do you best–or worst. Let’s hear your worst/funniest review for a (fictional) sewing pattern or sewing tutorial.




  1. Justin

    Your personal story was not nearly long winded enough before you get to the actual recipe. You need to tell us more about your kids, husband, dog, cat and/or salamander before you tell us which grocery store you shop at and when. You also need to punctuate the recipe steps with leftover parts of that story. Get with it, Liesl.

  2. Melani

    Your recipe is very similar to mine (I also add a little cinnamon)! I’m looking forward to next week bringing a break from school and work so there can be more baking and listening to Christmas music while the kids play together by the fire. Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

  3. Katy

    After reading all the rave reviews of your Field Trip Raglan T-shirt I thought I would give it a try. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. I used the most adorable woven calico to make my baby girl a shirt and I had the devil’s own time trying to squeeze it over her oversized head. After a lot of crying on her part and swearing on mine, I was finally successful, but now that it’s on, I can’t seem to get it off her! I definitely give this pattern 1 star out of 5.

    On a side note, I also have an allergy to kiwi fruit and would love the alternate recipe for kiwi fruit ice cream if you have it.

    1. Erica

      I second this one star review. I’d give this pattern negative stars if I could, because the post office lost my package, and then it got delivered to my neighbor’s door, whose dog chewed it up before my neighbor delivered it to me, three months later. Why is it not printed on dog-proof paper?

      1. Terri Miller

        So frustrating yet funny!

    2. Rebecca Hunter

      My MIL used to run a kiwi fruit winery, and the bubbles were devine. But we often had people asking if there was a red to try. Not unless there is a red kiwi fruit out there!!!
      My snarky feedback would be: Where did you come up with such a crazy pattern? There is no way I could get away with wearing it, and I am no bigger than a 12 year old. It is much too juvenile for me. I have been sewing my own clothes for 20 years, but will never look at your patterns again – I need child size patterns for an adult, not those kid friendly items you promote!

  4. Mary Coonts

    I liked the Fairy Tale dress and wanted to make it for my teen for Christmas. I didn’t want to spend the money on the pattern so used a different free pattern I found on the internet. I used a knit fabric she picked out. Alas she doesn’t like it. I admit it looks droopy and she thinks it makes her look too young. The pattern didn’t go together well and there were no directions. Overall a waste of fabric and time.

    P.S. This is like some of the people in the serger class I teach. They don’t buy one of the serger friendly patterns I suggest, bring different notions, wrong fabric, and don’t do any of the prep work. Then they expect me to help them make it work. They then complain loudly that my project just doesn’t work!

    1. Terri Miller

      We must have had the same students! It could be so aggravating to teach people who aren’t really interested but expect you to do their work.

  5. Sondra

    Help. I’ve sewn my own shirt to the shirt that I am sewing! Your sewing instructions do not give clear instructions for how NOT to do this!!!

    1. Terri Miller

      So absolutely perfect!

  6. Jennifer

    I was so thrilled the other day, when I opened my mailbox to find a copy of the Extra-Sharp Pencil Skirt. I decided to ignore my girls all afternoon (thank you, Netflix!) so I could sit down and whip one out from a beautiful (a splurge) silk from my stash. However, my excitement turned to complete dismay when I realized that the skirt was exceptionally short (think Pretty Woman)! I couldn’t believe it! To think I had wasted my expensive, beautiful fabric on something that would show my you-know-what if I bent over? I am certain my sister-in-law traced the pattern correctly before she mailed it to me, as she is exceptional when it comes to details. Unfortunately I have to give this pattern 1 star out of 5.

  7. Mindy

    Those comments drive me bonkers! Try it yourself, or find a different recipe without that ingredient.

    “I bought the Building Block Dress book thinking it would come with pattern pieces for all of the dresses featured on the cover. What a ripoff! There’s only one pattern included!”

  8. Lisa

    While trying to come up with a clever post, I remembered this opinion piece in the NYT. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a read:

    I love how it highlights how positive the online knitting(and sewing, I’d argue) community is, and reasonably asks why we can’t have more support in other areas, like parenting, where we really need it. I think it’s hard for me to think of something snarky because you’ve created an online space that is positive, supportive and encouraging. So while I’d love to play along- and I know exactly the types of comments you are referring too- it’s just hard to do that here. Thank you for that!

    1. Love that article, thank you! Sad but true!!!

  9. Eleanor

    To go the other way with comments:

    OMG!!!! That fairy tale dress looks amazing!!!!! I’ve been looking for a pattern like this for FOREVER. I haven’t tried it yet and I don’t know if I will, but I’m giving it 5 stars anyways because it is so cute! I would give it a million starts if I could!

  10. Brooke

    I really love the look of your newly released pattern but its not long enough for me and the model looks nothing like me so I’m unsure as to how it would look on my body could you please post a tutorial on how to lengthen the pattern by 80cm and please share some photos of the lengthened pattern on a shorter say 158cm 30 something Asian woman so I can decide whether or not it is worth buying the pattern?

    (Poor use of punctuation and grammar is a pet peeve of mine lol)

  11. Holly Dumont

    I always wear a size 10. I mean, I’m a perfect size 10. So I bought a Butterflick dress pattern in size 10. They wanted you to use a drapey fabric, but I don’t like sewing that kind of fabric, so I used some quilting cotton from my stash with beautiful big pink flowers.

    The pattern calls for 3 yards of fabric. That’s a ridiculous waste. I had 2 yards and I squeezed it in. The skirt was only a bit off grain. I didn’t put the zipper in, but instead just made a fabric loop. I have lots of garments in my closet that don’t have zippers. You can pull them over your head.

    I just finished it. It fits and looks like a gunny sack. The side seam is twisting around to the front, and I can’t step into the dress like I normally do when I get dressed. I have to shimmy into it over my head, which wrecks my hair. On top of that, one of the flowers is right on my breast, one on my navel, and the other on my butt. From a distance, it looks like someone shot me with a paint gun. This whole project is a wadder, and I’m never buying a Butterflick pattern again. I want my money back for my fabric and for this stupid pattern. (nudge nudge wink wink)

Post a comment