I have sewn dresses and tops for myself but never ventured into the pants/shorts realm except for one horrific experience in Junior High Home Ec that left a deep and long lasting fear of sewing pants.
I have overcome that fear.
pattern: Ottobre Design 2/2002 #40 "Hot Pants"
fabric: cotton twill from Joann Fabrics
bonus: This is the first Ottobre pattern I've sewn for myself AND my copy of this issue is in German (I don't speak/read German)!
I used an old bed sheet to do a muslin before cutting into the "real" fabric. The fit was pretty good so I didn't make any changes other than adjusting the length. This pattern comes in 3 lengths: hot pants, bermudas, and capris. I generally like my shorts with an inseam between 5 and 7 inches. These are in the middle of the hot pants and bermuda length.
as you can see, I didn't wear a bikini (much) at the beach last week
The only thing I don't like about these shorts is how high they come up. I much prefer a mid-rise in my shorts. Next time around, I'll drop the waist 2 inches lower or so. Oh, I did make one small alteration...I cut the waistband on the fold instead of cutting 2.
These fit so much better than the ready-to-wear shorts that are in my wardrobe. And they were really not that difficult to sew.