How to Make Tailored Shoulder Pads

Written by jessica white
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How to Make Tailored Shoulder Pads
Sewing tailored shoulder pads is a great project for beginners. (let's sew image by Erin Cadigan from

Tailored shoulder pads, whether needed for medical reasons or for vanity, can be made with little work. They are easily customised to your own specifications and measurements. Because they are worn under clothes, it is not imperative for shoulder pads to look perfect. Most of the materials are commonly around the house, and the edges of shoulder pads can be either hand or machine sewn. They are a good project for beginning sewers.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Mirror
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Measuring Tape
  • Scissors
  • Threaded Sewing machine
  • Straight pins
  • Foam or quilting filler (folded so it's about 1/4 inch thick)
  • Pantyhose

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  1. 1

    Using a mirror, measure the length and width of your shoulder. Record the measurements on paper.

  2. 2

    Cut your fabric into a large, manageable rectangle that is a little larger than your recorded measurements. A standard size for shoulder pads is 5 1/2 inches by 4 inches. To tailor your own shoulder pad, either add or remove 1/2-inch increments. Cut it to a half-circular shape (the shape of your shoulder) using your measurements.

  3. 3

    Pin the fabric so that you can add a dart. The darts should be parallel of no more than 1 inch.

  4. 4

    Sew two small darts from the edge of the curved pad towards the centre.

  5. 5

    Cut your pantyhose off at the knee, leaving the toe part intact.

  6. 6

    Slide the pad into the pantyhose so that the largest of the curved corners are touching where the big toe would go in the foot part of the pantyhose.

  7. 7

    Fold the knee end of the pantyhose down.

  8. 8

    Using at least four pins so that the nylon stays secure, pin the folded edge.

  9. 9

    Sew the pinned edge with your sewing machine. Use stitches loose enough to hold the nylon secure. You will remove them later.

  10. 10

    Holding the shoulder pad carefully, turn and sew around the edge of the pad, securing the nylon against slippage. Depending on sewing ability, you might need to do double-stitching so that the pad does not slip inside of the nylon.

  11. 11

    Remove from the sewing machine and tie off your threads. Cut off the excess nylon.

  12. 12

    Repeat the process for the other shoulder pad.

Tips and warnings

  • Securing the shoulder pads to your jacket or blouse with a safety pin, or placing them under a bra strap, will keep them from slipping.

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