Above is the all too familiar before photo. Usually jeans that look like this get hemmed into shorts. But my friend Jan’s son and my boy share a common problem, long legs for their waist size. Both boys have been destroying the knees of their pants as well as growing out of the length, even on slim sizes, when most of the pants are still in great shape and the next size up is too big in the waist anyway. Jan brought me these jeans along with an idea—cut out the knee section and replace it with a longer piece of denim, thereby solving two problems at the same time. It was a good idea but the biggest problem I faced was keeping the number of layers of denim down to a thickness my home sewing machines could manage. I also somehow couldn’t get around the idea that the patches would look weird going all the way around the leg. So I came up with this arrangement, reusing the lower legs off a contrasting colored pair of jeans, and cutting the seams on a bit of a diagonal. I think it worked out okay. The topstitching was necessary for strength but very difficult and would be impossible on a smaller size. I’m not sure I would do it exactly like this again. For love yes, but not for money!