I tried again before #5 was born and have had true success with his little pants (I'm needing to make more - on the to-do list).
While Soulemama's pants are easy there isn't really a "pattern" which could be the reason for some of my success/non-success.
#1 took a Girl Scout sewing class at the beginning of August. They took them to the fabric store to pick out their own fabric. Then took them through measuring to find the right size and cutting out the pattern pieces for a pair of pajama pants.
During girly weekend #1 made herself a second pair of pants which turned out really nice. While we were at the fabric store she picked out the same pattern they'd used at Girl Scouts. It had a matching top. I had her pick fabric that would match both pairs of pants and told her I'd have a go at the shirt pattern.
I had to wait until #5 went down for the night but while #1 was watching her Barbie movie I started cutting out and folowing the directions! Not too long after she went to bed (read movie over and then some) I had finished a jammie shirt in nice soft flannel.
So excited! Even more so that this is a uni-sex pattern and so I'm one step closer to mama-made Christmas Eve jammies! Now to find cute, coordinating Christmas-y fabric that's not too expensive and find a nightgown pattern (the other part of my Christmas jammie wishlist - a gown for my girl).