How to Sew on a Button

Once there was a young wombat named Benson who lived in a nice wombat hole with his mother and his two aunts, Lillibet and Moss.

One morning Benson got out of bed and had a big yawn and a big stretch and one of the buttons on his pyjamas popped off.

He went out to the kitchen where his mother and Aunt Moss were eating breakfast.

He said, “My button came off.”

Aunt Moss said, “Oh, we can fix that easily. If you would bring me my needles and thread and scissors, please, Benson, we’ll have your button back on in no time!”

Benson brought Aunt Moss’s needles and thread and scissors. His mother said, “Aunt Moss, why don’t you let Benson sew the button back on? You could show him what to do, and he could do it himself. A young wombat needs to know how to sew a button on, don’t you think?”

Aunt Moss said, “Oh yes!” So they set to work. First there was threading the needle, which took a long time because the hole in the needle was very small and the thread was wobbly. When they got that done, they had to tie a knot in the thread and that was hard because the thread was slippery and the knot either made itself in the middle of the thread or it didn’t make itself at all.

Then they needed to find Aunt Moss’s glasses and then they were ready to start. Aunt Moss did the explaining and Benson did the sewing. The first time he put the knot in the wrong place so they had to start again, but after that it wasn’t hard at all. He sewed through the pyjamas and up through one hole in the button, and then down through the other hole in the button and through the pyjamas again, up and down, up and down, until the button was nice and tight. Then they made a knot so the thread wouldn’t come undone, and cut off the rest of the thread.

“There!” Benson said. He was quite proud of himself.

Aunt Moss said, “Well done!” Then she noticed something. “Oh dear,” she said. “When you were sewing the button onto your pyjamas, you accidentally sewed it onto my dressing-gown as well.” Benson looked. The button and the pyjamas were sewn firmly onto Aunt Moss’s dressing-gown.

They got the scissors and snipped through the thread, and then they had to start again sewing the button onto Benson’s pyjamas. This time Aunt Moss did the sewing.

“There!” she said.

Benson looked, and said, “That’s very nice, Aunt Moss, but you’ve sewn the button onto your dressing-gown instead of my pyjamas.”

“Oh, dear, how did that happen?” Aunt Moss said, getting flustered.

Benson’s mother came over. “Can I help?” she said.

“Oh, yes, please,” said Aunt Moss. Benson’s mother snipped the button off, and they started again. Benson did some of the sewing and his mother did the knot and the snipping and Aunt Moss supervised.

“There!” said Benson’s mother.

Benson held up the pyjamas. This time his pyjamas were sewn to Aunt Moss’s dressing-gown and the button was sewn to the table-cloth.

“Oops!” said Benson’s mother. “We’d better sort that out.” She snipped the button off and snipped the pyjamas away from the dressing-gown and they started again. This time Aunt Moss did the sewing and Benson’s mother did the knots and Benson supervised. When they were finished, the table-cloth was sewn to Aunt Moss’s dressing-gown, the dressing-gown was sewn to Benson’s pyjamas, and the button and the pyjamas were both sewn onto Benson’s mother’s dress.

Aunt Lillibet came out and looked at them, all sewn together. “What on earth are you doing?” she said.

“We’re having a sewing bee,” Benson’s mother said.

“You’re having a sewing catastrophe!” Aunt Lillibet said.

She got Aunt Moss’s scissors and went snip, snip, snip. Then she got the needle and thread and sewed six swift stitches.

“There!” she said. The table-cloth was back on the table, Aunt Moss’s dressing-gown wasn’t sewn to anything, Benson’s mother’s dress was fine again, and the button was back on Benson’s pyjamas.

Then she said, “Oh. Benson, I think I may have accidentally cut a hole in your pyjamas.”

She was right. There was a great big hole in the front of the pyjamas.

“Never mind,” she said. “We can easily sew a button over that. Benson, would you like to help? Every young wombat should know how to sew on a button!”

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