Tutorial: Shoulder Pad for Straps

Shoulder Pad Cover

Sometimes, we have that one bag that is just way too heavy, and the straps will dig into our shoulder, causing pain. Add this shoulder pad to any bag’s strap to make carrying your bag more comfortable! Templates are included for 3 different sizes, as well as option for either a snap closure or hook and loop closure.

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Instructions are below, but you can download the pdf version of the pattern, which includes printable templates that you will need for the pattern, right here!

Please read all instructions before beginning.

Supplies (supplies in this list will make 1 shoulder pad)

  • 1/8 yard of fabric  -OR-   1 fat quarter
  • 8” x 3-1/2” piece of Soft and Stable
  • 1/4 yard of Pellon SF-101 Shape Flex fusible woven interfacing (or medium-weight fusible interfacing)
  • 20” long piece of 1/2” wide double-fold bias tape (or make your own by cutting a 20” x 2” strip on a 45 degree angle)
  • Either two snaps (I use the Snap Setter tool and size 16 snaps)     -OR-     3” long piece of hook and loop (Velcro)

Notions

  • Iron
  • Pressing cloth
  • Scissors
  • Optional: Walking foot for sewing the Soft and Stable layers together, if needed.
  • Disappearing Ink Fabric Marker

Cutting

When printing pattern pieces, always make sure your printer is set to scaling at ‘none’ or ‘actual size’ so pieces print at correct size. Each page is marked with shoulder pad pieces for a certain sized strap. Choose your size (or, if you are making the shoulder pad to encase 2 straps, go one size up).

Please print templates from the full pattern, located here.

From the fabric, cut:

  • (2)  Using the Shoulder Pad pattern piece
  • (4) Using the Shoulder Inset pattern piece

From the Soft and Stable, cut:

  • (1) Using the Shoulder Pad pattern piece

From the Shape Flex, cut:

  • (1) Using the Shoulder Pad pattern piece
  • (4) Using the Shoulder Inset pattern piece

 

Attach the Interfacing

1. Place the fusible (tacky) side of the Shape Flex against the wrong side of the Shoulder Inset. Fuse according to manufacturer instructions. Repeat for the remaining Shoulder Inset pieces.

Helpful Hint: To fuse Shape Flex, what I usually do is first place the Shoulder Inset face down, followed by the interfacing (tacky side down), then my pressing cloth. I lightly spritz the pressing cloth with water, then iron, overlapping each area, for approximately 10 seconds on each spot. When finished, it should be firmly attached to your fabric.

2. Place the Shoulder Pad with the wrong side of the fabric against the Soft and Stable. Pin in place. Baste around the outer edge of the fabric using a 1/8” seam allowance.

Helpful Hint: I like to gently pull my fabric taut as I am basting it to the Soft and Stable for a tight, crisp finish. If you would like, machine quilt the Soft and Stable pieces at this time.

 

In the following steps, you will be either attaching hook and loop OR snaps, but not both.

Option: Attach the Hook and Loop

0023. Sew 2 Shoulder Inset pieces right sides together using a 1/4” seam allowance. Leave one long straight edge unsewn. Repeat for the remaining pair of Shoulder Inset pieces.

0034.    Clip the corners and the curved edges. Turn right side out and press. Topstitch the finished edges using a 1/8” seam allowance.

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5. Place the loop piece on one Shoulder Inset, 1/2” away from the finished long edge. Topstitch the loop in place, 1/8” away from the edges.

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6. Place the hook piece on the remaining Shoulder Inset, 1” away from the raw long edge. Topstitch the hook in place, 1/8” away from the edges.

 

Option: Attach the Snaps

0027. Sew 2 Shoulder Inset pieces right sides together using a 1/4” seam allowance. Leave one long straight edge unsewn. Repeat for the remaining pair of Shoulder Inset pieces.

0068. Clip corners and the curved edges. Turn right side out and press. Topstitch the finished edges using a 1/8” seam allowance.

9. Draw a vertical line on one Shoulder Inset piece that is 1/2” away from the long finished edge. Draw a dot on that line that is 1” down from the top edge and 1” up from the bottom edge.

00710. Install the ‘nub’ half of both of the snaps at those dots using manufacturer instructions.

11. Draw a vertical line on the remaining Shoulder Inset piece that is 3/4” away from the long raw edge. Draw a dot on that line that is 1” down from the top edge and 1” up from the bottom edge.

00812. Install the remaining halves of both of the snaps at those dots.

 

Finish the Shoulder Pad

13. Baste both Shoulder Pad pieces, wrong sides together, using a 1/8” seam allowance.

00914. On the left edge of the Shoulder Pad (that is fused to the Shape Flex), pin one Shoulder Inset piece; it should be centered, with the raw edge of the Shoulder Inset even with the left raw edge of the Shoulder Pad. The ‘nub’ snaps/hook should be facing down. Baste in place using a 1/8” seam allowance.

01015. Flip the Shoulder Inset from the previous step out of the way. On the right edge of the Shoulder Pad, pin the remaining Shoulder Inset piece; it should be centered, with the raw edge of the Shoulder Inset even with the right raw edge of the Shoulder Pad. The snaps/loop should be facing up. Base in place using a 1/8” seam allowance.

01116. If you cut your own strip for the bias tape, press in half along the long edge, wrong sides together, so that both edges meet. Press. Fold the top of the fabric down to the crease. Open out again, then fold the other edge in to meet the crease and press. Fold the entire piece along the first fold and press. Your piece should now be 1/2” wide.

17. Starting on one of the long edges of the Shoulder Pad, sandwich the Shoulder Pad between the creased edge of the bias tape. Leave about 2” of tail at the beginning, then sew using a 1/4” seam allowance until you reach the other end. Stop about 2” from where you started, then backstitch and remove the fabric from your machine.

18. Measure where both ends of the bias tape meet, then add 1/4” to each end. Join the ends right sides together using a 1/4” seam allowance.

19. Sew the unsewn edge of the Shoulder Pad using a 1/4” seam allowance.

20. Alternately, you may wish to attach the binding by hand.

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