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The Kilim Carpet Coat: Adding the Collar and Sleeves

Follow along to find out just how I installed the collar and the sleeves on this Kilim carpet coat.

We return to the Kilim coat! In our last installment of the Kilim coat, I constructed the sleeves, the body front, body back, and yoke. Now, I’m ready to build the collar and install the sleeves.

In the interest of reducing bulk, I bought some blue violet boiled wool for facings. This enables me to face the pieces that need facings (collar, fronts) and make the edges as flat as possible.

I cut the collar with 5/8-inch seam allowances and staystitched 1/2 inch from the collar’s outer raw edges. Then, using lots of water, steam, heat, and the hammer, I pressed in the seam allowances to create a folded edge around the collar.

After pressing under the seam allowances, I laid the upper collar onto a piece of the boiled wool and edgestitched the collar flat onto the wool.

After stitching, I used the pinked-edge rotary cutter to trim away the boiled wool. You can see the pinked edge peeking out from underneath.

This is the collar’s reverse side, showing the boiled wool and the pinked edge.

I completed a final shaping with steam on the pressing ham before installing. Afterward, I staystitched the neck seam at 5/8 inch to lock the turn of cloth together and to mark the stitching line for the next step.

A lapped seam was used to install the collar. On the body neck seam, I staystitched the neck opening on the seamline and overlapped it with the staystitching line on the collar. Next, I added two rows of stitching: the first on the seamline, and the second 1/4 inch away.

Finally, I trimmed the seam allowance on the body close to the stitching.

Here’s a detail shot.

A front view of the installed collar

. . . and back view.

Next came the heavy lifting. It…

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  1. User avater
    eatsallinsects | | #1

    Not from a carpet but I have made a Bog Coat from a "puffy" bedspread!

  2. User avater
    AdoAnnie | | #2

    Living in Texas I have seen simple jackets made from beautiful Mexican rugs and hoodies made from lovely hand woven Guatemalan fabric, but the idea of making a garment like this myself is overwhelming. Your work on this coat is amazing just in the physical effort, let alone the well thought out design in the way the carpet art is complemented by the pattern of the coat. Brilliant.

    You mentioned several times the stiffness of the carpet fabric. Once it was finished could you wear the coat comfortably? I imagined beating the coat with a rubber mallet for a few weeks just to break down the resistance to bending. ;-)

    I look forward to seeing the finishing touches.

  3. Muppet | | #3

    Bravo!!! What a work of art, beautiful!!!

  4. Rabia | | #4

    Absolutely FABULOUS coat! Too bad youy aren't going to be at the Creativ fest in Toronto this year; you could have WORN it! I am planning to make myself a Sandra Betzina coat from one of those fake-fur bedspreads, in ZEBRA. I may trim it with 'inlaid' red faux fur as was demo'ed in a past Threads article.

  5. sandysewin | | #5

    I've often admired coats made from Indian rugs/blankets, but don't want to make a coat that ends up looking like I'm wearing a carpet, lol.

    I definitely think if the right fabric came along I would try some of your techniques for eliminating bulk. Love the way you did the collar.

    Your jacket is coming along nicely, looking forward to the next installment!

  6. User avater
    kennethdking | | #6

    Regarding the stiffness of the lilim: The kilim is rather flexible, because I tumbled it in the dryer for an hour, so it won't wear as stiffly as one might think. I've worn it around then house (it's finished) and it will wear relatively comfortably outside. It will loosen up more, as I plan on wearing it a lot this winter.

    This is definitely a fun coat, not for everyone, but I'll have some laughs when I wear it. I'm making a "Mary Poppins" bag from the scraps of the kilim--another blog series in the making...

  7. User avater
    sewold | | #7

    I would think the physical effort of cutting and handling the carpet would be daunting but it turned out great. I've upcycled several garments and accessories. Denim jeans are great for a multitude of uses, including making a new jacket out of old jeans. The different shades of blue are great together. Also made purses, totes and duffel bags, plus a "yard quilt". It's great for outdoor concerts, picnics, etc. Can't hurt it and it's washable. I made a suede coat out of several discarded suede jackets. Lining was a taffeta shower curtain that just happened to be the right color. Wool coat was made for one college son from several old wool coats. Bathroom curtain made from a beautiful fine linen embroidered, shadow appliqued tablecloth. I used one corner of the second tablecloth for a lapel facing. Thinking outside the box!

  8. furballs | | #8

    I've made jackets from quite heavy upholstery fabric. I wash it first, which helps shrink it, soften it, and tells me something about the textile itself too. I've made some nice swirly circle skirts from heavy drapery fabrics too. Some have quite pretty patterns and are easy to match up if it suits the pattern. Like wallpaper, really.
    I like that they are sturdy, wear well, look different. I always buy extra to allow for shrinkage as many were probably not intended to be washed.. but if the fibre is washable, usually the fabric will be too. Sometimes a surface finish will come off and make the colours appear greyer or softer or something, but usually I like what happens. Only really odd result was with one that was a jacquard weave that had multiple layers, which turned out to be of different fibres that shrank differently or not at all. Puckered up some, so it became a bag rather than a garment.

  9. furballs | | #9

    I have also made shirts from bedsheets and table clothes and I have a stash of lovely hand made doilies just waiting to be collars or something sometime.

  10. LindaG7 | | #10

    I created a "going away" suit for after my wedding using a large violet and gold jacquard bedspread I picked up for a few dollars at a church flea market. The suit had a fitted, sheath-type dress with straps made from thick, gold rayon drapery cording. The jacket had a wide-set, dramatic, portrait collar, perfect for showing off great jewelry. The reverse side was just as interesting, so the jacket did not need to be lined. The fabric was heavy, but very soft, probably a rayon blend, and could be shaped easily with proper support. I received lots of compliments every time I wore that outfit, although it was definitely a special occasion garment.

    The textile wasn't suited to washing, so, even though I usually wash fabrics before sewing, this structured suit was definitely dry clean only.

    I've also made many garments using salvaged lace tablecloths and curtains, including the heavy Quaker Lace pieces. They make interesting, textured, unique pieces that are truly one-of-a-kind. Every time I see an old tablecloth with unfortunate holes or stains that make it no longer useable for the table, I see material for a potential new garment.

    Not sure I'd want to use a carpet, but this coat looks like it was an interesting challenge, both mentally and physically.

  11. BRosser | | #11

    I absolutely love the coat that you've created.
    I'm looking forward to seeing you wearing the coat.
    Thanks for your inspiring ideas.

  12. User avater
    kennethdking | | #12

    This post seems to have inspired tales of recycling--I think that's a good idea, and makes for clothes that have that "something extra".

    As for photos of me in the coat, I'm working on that!

  13. User avater
    Mag52sews | | #13

    Where and when can we find out more info on the Sit and Sew classes for 2014 with you and Susan Khalje? Always love seeing and hearing your out of the box thinking and design.

  14. User avater
    kennethdking | | #14

    You can find out about them from this link on her web site...


  15. user-1123536767 | | #15

    The coat is great. The only other idea I would have for the seams would be to first cut off the seam allowances, and then butt the edges of the pieces to be seamed. You would then need to add a strip of a sturdy but not very bulky or thick fabric to both sides of the butted seam to hold the edges together (maybe a soft leather? or more of that boiled wool?) You would probably need to do the same on the wrong side of the garment also.

  16. User avater
    Sewmarj | | #16

    How did you finish the edge of the lapped seams that shows?

  17. User avater
    kennethdking | | #17

    To Sewmarj: I used the pinked blade on the rotary cutter--a pinked edge is considered a finished edge, especially when using a dense fabric like boiled wool.

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