Finally, months later, I decided that although I never want to wear pants with a regular crotch if a gussetted crotch is available, I would try drafting a pattern for drawstring shorts with a regular cross-shaped crotch.
Because the first time I drafted a shorts pattern, I only added one inch of ease and the shorts were skin tight, I added two inches to this pattern. I also did not taper the waist because I wanted it to fit over my hips. Basically, I drew a straight line from hips to waist and from hips to hem. The only curve was for the crotch extension.
When I tried on my sample, the front crotch was a little too tight and the back a little too baggy. I think on the front, I need to make a larger curve for the crotch extension, but on the back I couldn't tell if the bagginess was from the excessive amount of ease or the shape of the crotch extension. Also, while there was more than sufficient room on the outside thigh and hip, I needed to take some of that ease and move it to the inner thigh. At this point, I should have made some adjustments to the pattern and sewn a new sample.
I got side-tracked. Visions of perfectly fitted, gussetted pants wouldn't leave my mind. Instead of revising my cross-crotch pattern, I took a rectangular gusset, opened the inseam on the shorts, and sewed in the rectangle. I sewed a straight seam, folding back any over-hanging parts of the crotch extension. I was surprised to see that when the inseams were open, they made a nice curve, hem to hem, with only a little bump from the crotch extensions. I did not see this shape when I tried inserting a diamond gusset into cross-crotch pants. I don't know what's going on.
When I tried on this sample with the rectangular gusset on the cross-crotch seams, they were the closest to success I have been.
This extra material adds a bit of ease to the inner thigh, but doesn't drop the crotch too much. In a more fitted pair of pants, I would want the crotch raised and I'm still not sure how to do that. Also, I want to figure out what measurement I need in order to supply comfortable ease while still having a fitted pants. I also want to work on making the front and back crotch extension curves fitted better to my body. When that is fixed, I will see how the pants hang with the gusset.
Since I don't know what I am doing, or how to get answers to my specific questions, this is a slow process. It is hard to be inspired to work when I have no idea what I am doing. It's a cycle of guessing, trying, observing, ruminating, and guessing.
Even so, with a few modifications, I have a pattern that I could use to sew comfortable sleep shorts. If I can cut down on the bulk at the waist, I can use this pattern for my under-skirt shorts, too. Finally, positive progress! (I'll resist writing an article on how all movement that results in learning can be considered positive progress and trust you understand my sentiment here.)