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Drafting shoulder pads

I was initially curious about the construction of shoulder pads when I set out to make my first blazer. Even though I have since decided the shoulder pad look isn’t really my aesthetic, I’m still glad I gained the skill. In this post, I’ll give a quick and easy method to draft shoulder pads. 

Drafting the shoulder pads

Before you can cut and sew, you have to decide the size and shape you are going for. There are two types of shoulder pads: a standard style and a raglan style. In this post, I will be discussing only the standard style. Drafting a shoulder pad is relatively simple once you decide on the measurements. Here is what you have to do:

1. Draw a rectangle the size of your measurements

I did some basic internet research on what size a shoulder pad should be. I found them as small as 4″ x 5″, and as large as 5″ x 13″. For a standard woman’s shoulder, 5″ by 7″ is a reasonable place to start.

2. Draw the curve

For this, you want a nice, round edge; I recommend using a French curve if you have one. To make it even, fold the paper in half at the midpoint, and cut out both sides of the curve at once. 

Shoulder pad curve
Shoulder pad curve

3. Add a curve at the bottom (optional)

I don’t imagine this will make a huge difference, but if I were to make a shoulder pad again, I would probably add this curve. It seems like it would fit into the armhole better, and give the shoulder extra shaping. However, like I said, you can get by without it.

Finished shoulder pad template
Finished shoulder pad template

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