sholder pad help
I have been trying to find an easy way, or at least the right way to put sholder pads in a suit jacket. I have read, and read about it, but they still dont look right. Does anybody have any helpfull tips. Or at least a good reference. I am going for a really nice tailored look. The jackets come out beautiful, but the sholders allways look bush league. I have tried making them myself and thats not much better. HELP!!!
Claire, issue number 103 has a good "Basics" column on inserting shoulder pads, which focuses on using purchased pads. Start out by checking your pattern to see what size pad it is drafted for; you could be using a pad that's either too large or too small, or perhaps the wrong style. Do you need a raglan pad, or a set-in sleeve version? Of course, even if you're using the size recommended by the pattern, your own shoulder shape may call for something different: if you have sloping shoulders, you may need a thicker pad, while square shoulders might not need any pad at all! And some people like to use raglan-style pads even with patterns that call for set-in pads--you might try this and see how it works.
Depending on the fabric of your jacket, you might need a softer or firmer pad--get a couple of different types and experiment. A too-firm pad can compete with a softly tailored fabric, while a soft, squishy pad may not provide sufficient support for a heavy fabric.
Most set-in style pads in jackets are intended to extend into the sleeve cap by half an inch; this fills out and supports the sleeve cap. At the neck end, the pad should stop at least half an inch before the neckline edge. Raglan-style pads should be placed so that they cup your shoulder comfortably, and then extend to about half an inch from the neck edge.
Another complicating factor could be something like a hollow chest, or rounded shoulders, or other non-manniquin-like figure type. Shoulder pads sit nicely on a dress form or manniquin, but most of us don't have posture quite as rigid and erect as that. If you alter your patterns to account for posture or figure, it may be that you need to rethink how you place the pads, as well. Your best bet is to try on the jacket, slip the pads in, and see how they look. Move them around if necessary till you like the look, or switch to a different size or style. You'll eventually figure out which ones work for which garment styles, but in each case, it's a good idea to try them on before attaching them for good.
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