One of the many things she insisted upon is making shoulder pads for tailored garments. Absolutely NO ready-made pads. She must have made an impact on me, because I haven't bought a shoulder pad since. These shoulder pads can be made any thickness. Most often, the pads in my jackets are 1/2" thick. Here's how:
I use polyester fleece, available at Jo's on a bolt, in the interfacing section. I don't remember the number on the bolt, but it's by Pellon and about 1/8" thick. I usually buy a couple of yards and cut as many pads as I can get out of it, all at once.
Cut the squres in half, diagonally.
Stack 1 large triangle, 1 medium triangle and 2 small triangles like this. (I'm using paper for clarity).
Top with another large triangle.
Pin the layers together, beginning in the center of the diagonal edge. Roll the layers over your hand as you pin, to form a slight curve. The diagonal edge is the edge that will be sewn to the armsythe.
Now, the pad will be hand-stitched together. On the diagonal side, backstitch through all layers, 5'8" from the edge, using a double strand of thread and making stitches 1/4" apart.
The other two sides are secured with a small running stitch, 1" from the edge.
Pin the pad to a rounded surface, such as a sleever roll. Steam well, and let it dry.