The whole lot stays inside quite securely when turned upside down onto the base of the die, which has the button back inserted. Crunch down the plunger on the machine and it clamps the two parts together. Not quick or easy, but the buttons are sound, very neat and pleasing.
It is a rare thing to find a quality cast off in our local charity shops, but I like to have a nose about on a Saturday morning while himself is doing something manly, like going in the bank or having a haircut. He has ceased to loiter impatiently on the pavement and will even come in with me, trying on this huge coat, which proved too big across the shoulders. Since it was made with yards of real woollen twill, at £10 it was a bargain for me to carry home in triumph. The fabric survived a much needed turn in the wool wash cycle and after a press with the steam iron, I decided to repair all the ripped lining and keep it as a greatcoat. Who ever owned it had had hard wear out of it. Must have been a big bloke who got bigger, because all the buttons had been cobbled back on right at the edge of the front opening. Such an intimate thing, a coat. The right hand pocket had been used most, because that was torn out. I pictured the previous owner striding
over a stile ripping the lining above the back kick pleat and pulling the right shoulder stitching out while manhandling stock. Though I sewed back a good few seams, the twill fabric had no tears at all. Incredible stuff, wool. I haven't any idea how old this coat may be, it has no label except a tag to hook it up which says Made in Britain. Let's call it twentieth century. Now it is back in action with handmade buttons, ankle length on me. How my vintage look impressed the seagulls while I was out beach combing, oak leaf dyed silk buttons glimmering in the wintry sunlight.
Only now, himself has decided that with a jumper underneath and the buttons in the line where they were supposed to be, the coat is a good enough fit for him.
After all, he did see it first.