When I was first asked to review the Nancy Zieman Trace n Create Tablet Keeper Pattern, I had mixed feelings. I have a Samsung Galaxy 10 Tablet that needed a new case – it was suffering in an iPad case that was a poor fit. But, I’m not a fan of templates. Still, I thought I could give it a shot… I like my finished result, but there were some hiccups along the way… but, first things first. Here is what Nancy’s site has to say about the templates:
Two templates with instructions for creating two styles of tablet keepers: paper tablet keeper or e-tablet keeper
Make a cover for a special friend or family member—whether it’s for a birthday, the holidays, or just because, these covers make excellent gifts
Finished measurements Large: 9″W x 12-1/2″H x 5/8″D
Finished measurements Medium: 8-1/4″W X 10-3/4″H x 5/8″D
Finished measurements Small: 6″W x 9″H x 5/8″D
Use the Pre-Cut Tablet Keeper Shapers (sold separately) to get the perfect stability for your keepers
More details from our Sewing Advisors:
Create a decorative and protective cover for your e-tablets or paper tablet keepers
Perfect fit for Original Kindle, Kindle Touch, Nook Color, Nook Tablet, iPad and more
Two closure variations: tab with snap or strap with hook and loop
Strap closure folds back on itself allowing the tablet to stand up
First, this pattern is amazingly comprehensive! The pattern includes options for multiple sizes of paper tablets or e-tablets. Including my Samsung Galaxy 10! This is the third e-tablet cover I have made, and by far it has the most options in terms of sizes. Also, the instructions are offered in a variety of languages. I went with English.
However, having the template be so versatile makes the instructions a bit cumbersome. The instructions provide details for making the e-tablet and paper tablet cover simultaneously, so you have to pay close attention to which part of the instructions you are on. I first picked up the instructions at 11pm one night, immediately went cross-eyed, and put it aside for later. In the end, I took the time to highlight the instructions that applied to my project, to prevent confusion.
This is a good time to point out that although Nancy’s site says there are two closure variations, you don’t really get an option if you are making the e-tablet cover. The snap closure uses a magnetic snap, and you don’t want that too close to your tech devices.
Once I sorted out which instructions to follow, making the cover was straightforward. I was frustrated when the instructions had me mark lines from the template, then come back with my ruler to mark and then rotary cut. I can cut far more accurately if I’m told what size to cut, rather than rely on a template.
I stitched together the pieces without ever having to get out my seam ripper, which is a huge plus.
When it came time to put the shapers in, I discovered that that were too big! I was able to cut them down easily with a craft knife, but I’m not sure why the “large” shapers would be too big when I was making the “large” size cover.
There is one error in the pattern, with the velcro not lining up properly on the front. But the strip of velcro is large enough for it not to be a big issue. More of a cosmetic issue.
The other cosmetic issue I found was the use of the D-ring. It is completely decorative, and actually quite heavy. As a mom who already has 2 cracked screens in her house, I don’t want to add a third any time soon! One of my boys being a little rough with this case would swing that D-ring around, and it would crack right into the center of the screen.
Also worth noting are the supplies you need to complete this project.
In addition to the template, you need the D-ring (though I think that part is optional), two sizes of the “Create a strap” (which is awesome and I’ll talk more about in another review), the shapers, and two different interfacings. And the fabric. That is a lot of stuff for one little cover! And if you don’t have all the pieces, you won’t be able to complete the project.
The elastic used is supposed to be the kind that grips, or you are supposed to use a hairband with grippies on it. I had neither, so I created my own. I added a few lines of hot glue to the back of my elastic, and had instant grippy-elastic that works great!
One thing that I really love about this tablet cover (other than the fit – which is awesome) is that you can use the elastic strap to turn it into an easel. I watch a lot of Netflix while sewing, and having a case that will prop up what I’m watching is a great alternative to the “tuck piles of stuff behind it” method that I have been using.
Although I think that the pattern has some rough spots, and is probably more valuable to a sewist as a pattern and not a template, I did like the finished piece. It wasn’t too difficult to make, didn’t take a lot of time, and the end result is very attractive!
If you’re looking to make a tablet cover, and this pattern suits the size of your tablet, it is a great choice. If you’re looking for a one-stop-pattern to make Christmas gifts, this is a great pattern because it will give you sizes for multiple different devices, and for those without an e-tablet, you can make the paper tablet version. Just remember to buy enough shapers for all the tablet covers you plan to make.
I do wish that this tablet cover had pockets on the left side, but with that exception, this is my favorite technology cover pattern to date. The outside is nice and sturdy, the cover converts to standing, the positioning of the elastic is perfect, and I don’t have to remove the tablet from the case to plug in the charger.