Janet Chambers runs the Sewing Room out of her home. Located at 1205 6th street, Janet offers sewing options including quilting.
Not always a Pawnee resident, Janet moved to Pawnee in 2016. Janet grew up on a farm in Mendon, Illinois and attended Unity High. After marrying her husband Jim together they operated a business in Macomb and raised three daughters. “We operated the Attic Upholstery Shop. We did stripping and refinished furniture and restored and caned chairs.”
Janet also made drapes and offered a variety of sewing options. After her husband passed away in 2011, Janet retired from the business in 2016, then decided to move to Pawnee where her two youngest daughters and her granddaughter lived. Her youngest daughter Ilene has since passed away, but her daughter Amy is nearby and her daughter Erin is in Pawnee. “Praise God for his blessings,” Janet said.
In Pawnee she has made friends and enjoys the worship and camaraderie she has found at the Assembly of God church. Daughter Amy works at the Pawnee School as a music teacher and Janet has found she enjoys her life in the Pawnee community. Janet also substitute teaches during the school year. “I like the small town feel of Pawnee,” Janet added.
After moving to Pawnee although she had retired from the Attic Upholstery Shop, Janet still wanted to be busy and thought opening the Sewing Room would keep her so. It didn’t take long for business to come her way. It was a simple as hanging out a shingle making it evident the need was there. “I put out a sign and several people came.”
Even with all the things she knew how to do, she still wanted to expand her knowledge base even more. “I still wanted to do more.”
She decided that more was quilting. “I was introduced to Jenny Albrecht. We became good friends and I joined the local quilt guild in Springfield as well as a couple local sewing groups.”
It didn’t take long for Janet to add quilting to her list of accomplishments and soon she was offering custom quilting. Joining two quilt groups introduced her to like minded individuals and expanded her friend group making the move to Pawnee a smooth one. “In August of 2017 I bought a quilting machine and started doing quilts for myself. Then through the quilting guild I started doing quilts for others.”
Besides the quilts, Janet said she has also done some custom seats for outdoor chairs for a few people. She said she won’t reupholster a couch or huge piece of furniture like in days of old, but her industrial machine enables her to do heavy sewing like this. This industrial machine also allows mending of items like blue jeans and jackets.
Many locals bring their clothing to Janet to be fixed. Sewing is a lost art for many and she finds that a small repair is often all that is needed to keep a garment wearable. “Alterations are a big part of what I do.”
While she will do most any sewing services she doesn’t make drapes or wedding dresses.
Lately with the onset of COVID-19 Janet has wanted to give back to the local community that she has felt such kinship with. “With the need for masks, I have made over 300. That has been my way to give back. I had so many fabrics and all the supplies I needed,” she added.
The Sewing Room is a busy place with a wide array of ongoing projects. “Everyday I’m busy. I have a blackboard with a list of things to do,” Janet said pointing to the board that was indeed full!
To contact Janet Chambers at the Sewing Room about a project, you can email her at email@example.com, or call 309-255-2855.