Are Shoulder Pads Really Back? Try This Fun Shoulder Pad T-Shirt Hack

Pekgee Peggy
by Pekgee Peggy
7 Materials
20 Minutes

Today, we’re going to take on a trend for spring and summer by learning how to sew a shoulder pad t-shirt. This homemade shoulder pad DIY transforms a regular t-shirt into a trendy structured top.

I wear my shoulder pad t-shirt tucked into jeans for a casual look or with a pantsuit for workwear. Let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Sewing yarn
  • Shoulder pads
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • T-shirt
  • Pins
  • Needle
Measuring the t-shirt sleeve

1. Measure and cut the t-shirt sleeve

First, lay your t-shirt out flat. I’m using a t-shirt that is a size bigger than I would usually wear, which will make the shoulder pads more obvious.

Position your shoulder pad on the t-shirt. Then, measure 13-14cm (5.12-5.51 inches) along the top of the sleeve and 6-7cm (2.36-2.76inches) under the sleeve. Cut off the end of the sleeve.

Checking the fit of the shoulder pads

2. Check the fit of the shoulder pads

Insert the shoulder pad to check that it fits nicely.

Hemming the edges of the t-shirt sleeve

3. Hem the edges

Fold the sleeves in twice and hem the edges. You can do this either by hand-stitching or using a sewing machine.

Pinning and sewing the shoulder pad t-shirt

4. Sew the shoulder pad into the sleeve

Insert the shoulder pad into the t-shirt, with the curved side at the neckline end and the flat side at the sleeve end. Pin in place, then hand-stitch the shoulder pad onto the t-shirt by sewing right into the t-shirt sleeve seam.

The stitching underneath the shoulder pad

Secure the end of the stitching underneath.

Two sleeves - before and after shoulder pads

Your shoulder pad t-shirt should look something like this.

The underarm hole fabric needs to be sewn

5. Hide the edges

However, you might have some messy edges at the under part of the sleeve. Fold the edges in, pin them, then sew them down.

Repeat the whole process for the second sleeve.

DIY shoulder pad t-shirt

DIY shoulder pad t-shirt tutorial

Here’s the finished result. I hope you enjoyed this DIY shoulder pad t-shirt tutorial.

I love how adding shoulder pads to a regular shirt really defines my shoulders, lifts my frame, and creates an hourglass silhouette. If you can’t get shoulder pads, bra pads can create the same effect too!

Let me know in the comments if you like this look and whether you’ll try this easy shoulder pad hack on one of your own t-shirts.

Suggested materials:
  • Sewing yarn
  • Shoulder pads
  • Scissors
See all materials

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Join the conversation
  • Let Let on Aug 13, 2021

    They look good on you! I have seen the same

    t-shirt for over. $50. Not everyone can wear it

    as nice. Just like not everyone can wear what’s

    fashionable. Good job!

  • Jeanne Jeanne on Aug 14, 2021

    Great job. Great look. Very elegant.