About Hand Cranked

This site is maintained by Emma Jane Hogbin Westby. During the working hours of the day, I manage software development teams. I'm the author of a few technical books (most recently Git for Teams), and have a somewhat opinionated Twitter feed.

In 2014 I acquired my mother-in-law's vintage Jones Family CS hand crank sewing machine. By the end of 2015 I had completed some of the best sewing I'd ever done. Slowing down made me more careful about every aspect of what I was sewing. The Great British Sewing Bee inspired me to take a bit more care (and try more challenging items) than I had previously. I've started working a bit more with my handwoven fabric. And I'm aiming towards a sheep-to-jacket garment where I've dyed, spun, woven, and sewn the final product.

Winding a new bobbin.

A video posted by Emma Jane (@emmajanehw) on

It's unlikely I will ever sell what I make. I tried that with hand book binding and all it seemed to do was suck the joy out of the craft as I had to justify the time and expense against the price someone would pay for the final object. So now I make for fun, and mostly just for myself.