Ask Angela …: There are countless women like me who must have the same question to ask, so I’ll make an attempt to speak for the group. After reaching those golden years, we start to wonder why our clothes — especially shirts and blouses — seem to have lost all sense of shape. We might just as well be wearing ponchos because our collective shoulders have gradually disappeared over the years. How about a hint on making conservative shoulder pads . . . not like the 80’s kind and not just for jackets/coats and blazers. I would like something that can be used with casual or dress shirts and blouses, so it should not be too bulky.
Sure hope you can address this problem — I’ve seen you on It’s Sew Easy many times and feel that if anybody can solve this issue, it is Angela.
P.S. My next project will be creating a bra with suspenders to keep it in place. Any ideas?
This was a great question from Sarah, and although I’m not going to talk about making your own shoulder pads, I am going to give you a few tips that have worked for other clients of mine in the past.
All of us have different body shapes, meaning I might not need the same thickness of shoulder pad as you or maybe I don’t need extra padding at all. With that being said, there are just as many sizes and styles of shoulder pads.
Do you remember the shoulder pads of the 80s – they were very, very, VERY LARGE! In fact, I’m pretty sure the shoulders of the jackets extended at least 2 inches past the actual edge of any female’s shoulder. I always laugh at some of the old photos where I am wearing enormously huge shoulder pads – my head looks SO small! 🙂
Take a look at these two shoulder pads. Both are considered a raglan shoulder pad, meaning that part of the shoulder pad will be directly on your shoulder and a small part of the shoulder pad will extend past your shoulder to fill in the sleeve cap. These are typically used for jackets, but the smaller one will work in tops as well.
This shoulder pad is very thin and a perfect option for blouses and tops. It gives that soft edge to your shoulder and evens out your profile, without standing out that you are wearing shoulder pads..
It can get rather expensive to add shoulder pads to every top that you own, not to mention shoulder pads turn out disastrously after being washed. So why not design your own removable shoulder pads!
You will need:
1” wide Hook & Loop tape; which comes in a variety of colors including beige, black, foliage green, olive drab, and white
Shoulder pad options I would consider:
- ¼” shoulder pads by 6” long
- ¼” shoulder pads by 7” long
- ½” shoulder pad by 8 ½” long
- ¾” shoulder pad by 7” long
- 1” shoulder pad by 7” long
CHOOSING A SHOULDER PAD
Shoulder pads are listed by thickness and length. The thickness is the height of the shoulder pad, so if you are looking for the bare minimal to even out the shoulder area – start with the ¼” thick shoulder pad. For unlined jackets and sweaters consider using the raglan shoulder pads (which is what I will be using here). For knit tops and blouses, choose a flatter shoulder pad that won’t extend into the sleeve cap but the straight edge will line up with the edge of your shoulder.
PREPARE HOOK AND LOOP TAPE
Take a close look at the hook and loop tape. There is a softer side (which will be attached to your garments) usually referred to as the loop side. Then, there is the hook side that is (more…)