Z is for Zebra Print – Simplicity 1541- A Pattern Review

For the last post in my  series, the letter Z, I chose to sew a skirt with a zebra print panel from the Simplicity Amazing Fit Collection. My pattern is Simplicity # 0503, a Misses’ and Miss Petite skirt in 3 lengths, with individual pattern pieces given for slim, average and curvy fit. I made view C, the above the knee-length version, in the curvy fit size 14.

Simplicity 0503 is one of my newest patterns, purchased in 2013. Strangely enough, when I went to PatternReview.com to research 0503 I didn’t find any records. Then I tried to find an image of the pattern envelope on the web and it didn’t exist there either. Huh? Well, the pattern number must have changed soon after I bought it. The same pattern is now # 1541 and it has 2 favorable reviews on PatternReview. Both reviewers rated this pattern as easy & good for beginners.

This Amazing Fit Collection pattern differs from other skirt patterns in that there are two different pattern pieces included for the back of the skirt. One pattern piece is for average or slim fit, and the other is for a curvier figure. The curvy fit pattern piece has four darts on the back of the skirt as opposed to two darts on the back of the average/slim pattern piece. It’s also cut wider in order to contain those bodacious curves.

All of the skirt seams are 1″ wide instead of the typical 5/8″ and are basted before sewing them. This allows you to fit the skirt while it’s basted together. You then readjust and mark the seam width to fit, take the skirt apart, and sew it permanently on your custom fit seam line. Great idea, Simplicity! This is what I was taught to do when I took a short course on pattern drafting. I’m so thrilled that a commercial pattern company has finally used pattern drafting skills to help home sewers achieve a good fit. Thanks Simplicity!

Because I usually test fit a new pattern by sewing a wearable muslin, I made this skirt from two bed sheets, a black sheet and a zebra print sheet. I bought the zebra print sheet specifically for my Z project, but the black sheet had been in my muslin pattern testing stash for awhile. For me one of the best things about the Amazing Fit Patterns Collection is knowing I won’t have to sew every pattern twice to perfect the fit. With inch wide seam allowances and fitting opportunities before the final sewing, I’ll be able to use my “good” fabric immediately! No more making a wearable muslin first and only using my “real” fabric once I tweak the muslin fit. Yippee! I’ll be able to cut my sewing time in half, or maybe I’ll just sew twice as many wearable garments!


  1. Ooooh, I really like this pattern on you! Simplicity has been doing something weird with releasing the same pattern with different numbers and I bought some duplicates before catching on – bastards! I think the patterns that start with 0 are the same as other patterns but with different envelopes meant for displays on top of the pattern cabinets. And don’t even get me started on the ones in purple and green envelopes, which are apparently re-releases, but with only one view so you get even less for your money. I only buy the ones in the cabinet now to avoid the numbering weirdness.


  2. And, again your animal print blocking is very on trend. Congrats on making it through the alphabet! That is quite an accomplishment. I can’t wait to see you sew things you “like”.


  3. The 0503 number, and its cousins, are used for table display patterns. In this way the stores can have a large number of the patterns available when they are first released or at the beginning of an appropriate season and the 0XXX’s don’t get reordered as we purchase them like the “1541” numbered ones do. If you look at the instructions, you will see both numbers listed at the beginning. I have not yet seen a cross reference though I have not looked. Great skirt!


  4. Very nice! A skirt made out of two sheets. You are too funny! I’ve come to think that all pants and skirts should be sewn with the side seams basted first because that’s the easiest seams to tweak to get that perfect fit, assuming everything else is okay, of course.


    • Thanks Lynne! On 1541 even the waistband pieces are cut with inch wide seam allowances, they’re also trimmed to whatever seam line you determine is correct for your figure. This works amazingly well!


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