Sleepwear (Butterick 5932)

Maybe I don’t need to spend $70 for something to sleep in.


Butterick 5932 describes itself as “Misses’ Camisole, Dress, Top, Shorts and Pants: Camisole (fitted through bust) has shoulder straps, and self lined upper sections with elasticized back. Loose-fitting, Semi-fitted shorts … have elastic waist.” I sewed the camisole and shorts.

I bought this pattern about a year ago because I love my expensive Soma Cool Nights sleepwear, but find it hard to justify the cost. “I’m not going to pay $72 for this – I can sew it!” The pattern, fabric and notions have been sitting in a project box since last Fall. Only took me 9 months to get to it. And it took the Pattern Review pattern stash contest to give me the kick I needed (which is why there is suddenly a flurry of sewing 😉 ).



Soma’s sleepwear is very soft, stretchy and comfy, plus it’s durable. I have nightgowns that I’ve worn for 6 years. It’s hard to beat. Their fabric content is 93% rayon, 7% spandex and I managed to find a very similar fabric at Craftsy. (Note that Craftsy is not currently selling apparel fabric.)

Trim was purchased at JoAnn. It’s not easy to find trim to match this fabric, although I suspect there are online sources.

The pattern calls for Lawn, Cotton Jersey or Satin. My fabric has a lot of stretch, so that meant some …


I cut a large because I wanted negative ease in the bust. I still wound up taking 3/4″ off each side to make the bust more fitted.  This was also an attempt to make the top look more like the Soma nightgowns.

There were no adjustments on the shorts.


IMG_0132Learning from my mistakes, I clearly marked the fronts and backs of fabric pieces (where appropriate). This was especially helpful with the shorts.

I used a stretch needle and walking foot for construction on my sewing machine.

I had read a review that indicated the mid-back casing was too small to place the elastic, and in spite of my best efforts to maintain a 5/8″ seam, this fabric moved around a lot, even with the walking foot, so my seam was a bit wonky and there was no way to create a casing. Instead I wound up stitching the elastic to the fabric. That was a debacle because I had forgotten how to stitch elastic onto stretch fabric. After cursing and picking out stretch stitches I watched a couple of videos online and finally got it done right. That sort of set the tone for this project – trying to carefully sew a seam, followed by picking out stitches. What I learned half way through was to use lots of pins, then machine baste, then stitch or serge.

After trying on the top I decided that it needed more support in the back so I stitched casing in the top of the back piece and added another piece of 1/4″ elastic there.

IMG_3318On the front, I wasn’t able to find a lace similar to the one suggested by Butterick so instead used shirring elastic. It looks pretty good. What do you think?

The straps were crazy long so I hiked them up about 3 inches.

I sewed the camisole up first, and when I got to the hem I was dreading trying to create beautiful top stitching. I was sewing this project on Thursday (took a glorious midweek day off), and so decided to make really good use of the extra time and learn how to sew a rolled hem. Surprisingly, it was easier than I expected on my Bernina 800DL. I even had thread colours that were just right for this fabric (yellow, black and grey). That rolled hem on the serger is a game changer. (I’ve had my serger since 2005 and just this year learned how to quickly thread it, and now how to sew a rolled hem.)

Very impressed with the rolled hem. 
To reinforce the crotch seam on the shorts, I serged and then stitched right over that seam with a regular stretch stitch.

The shorts were honestly so easy to sew. I suspect there are going to be a lot of these in Christmas packages this year. This would also be a fast community service sew.

Time Required

  • 30 minutes for cutting (camisole)
  • 4 hours to sew (camisole)
  • 15 minutes for cutting (shorts)
  • 1 1/2 hours to sew (shorts)



The inside of the camisole looks like a dog’s breakfast, but I’m happy with the external appearance. It really looks like a Soma camisole. The shorts were the easiest project I’ve made up in decades.

The only dislike is the need to hand stitch the inside bodice facing. Given how sleepwear is worn and frequency of washing, I’m not confident that hand stitching will last over time.

I’ll definitely make this again. There’s another piece of this fabric in my stash, in a purple giraffe design (yeah, not quite what I thought I was ordering). Next time I will:

  • Use lingerie straps or shearing elastic for the straps
  • Add a strip of elastic along the center front of the bodice where there are gathers
  • Make it nightgown length
  • Probably add a piece of elastic along the seam underneath the bust

All in all, this was a satisfying sew!

9 thoughts on “Sleepwear (Butterick 5932)

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