Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Make your own Shoulder Pads!

I will never buy those crunchy polyester ones again!  This was just waaaaaay too easy.

STEP ONE : Make your pattern
This was super simple.  I measured my coat along the shoulder seam from the arm to the neck, which was 5 inches, so I decided shoulder pads needed to be 4.5 inches to work.  So, using some paper I cut a semi-circle that had a radius of 4.5 inches, then another one that was 4 inches, and another one that was 3.5 inches, and a final one that was 3 inches.

STEP TWO : Cut out the bits

Using some cotton wadding (the same stuff I used to interline my black coat) I cut out the three smaller circles so I had two of each.  I cut mine on the fold so I ended up with circles, but if I wanted smaller shoulder pads I would have cut them as semi-circles, not full circles... hope that makes sense!

Then I cut the biggest circle from the same fabric as my coat.  I figured this way they would totally blend in to my coat.  And even if I had cut semi-circles from the wadding, I still would have cut a full circle from the coat fabric, to totally wrap around the wadding.

STEP THREE : Stack em up!

At this point you can hand sew the circles together, but this fabric is fairly 'grippy' so I wasn't really worried about things getting out of shape.  So all I did was fold it over like a taco and pin it closed.

STEP FOUR : Sew it together

I used my zipper foot so I could get right up close to the first layer, and sewed all the way along the open curve.

STEP FIVE : Sew them in

To secure them into my coat, I sewed them to the seam allowance of the shoulder seam, and I also tack the corners to the seam allowance around the arm hole.


And they make such a difference!!!

(excuse the quality of the photo - I had to lighten it a fair bit...)

The left side (as you look at it) has the shoulder pad in, the right side has no shoulder pad.  And its hard to tell but there was an obvious need for the shoulder pads because there was excess fabric and it was all sad and droopy...

MUCH better with, I guarantee you!!!

Anyone else made their own shoulder pads before?



  1. No, but you bet I will now! What kind of fabric was that you used, Beccie? I want to make my own for vintage style dresses vs. coats (it's 90 degrees in the shade where I live).



    1. I used a cotton wadding or batting thats used in quilt making - should be available in your general fabric store. The outside layer was the wool that I made the coat from :)

  2. Yes I make them for custom tailoring. But I learned old school tailor way hand stitching and shaping with grading so they lay smooth. Wadding or foam, horsehair, felt, fabric, etc. You can take a thicker foam and nibble away with scissors to sculpt and serge a circle half moon with lining material for sweaters or unlined garments.