I bought my supplies from Macculloch & Wallis which is generally a failsafe option for any good quality haberdashery supplies, if a little on the expensive side. Their new store on Poland Street in Soho is pretty great by the way, so much more roomy and days to navigate plus closer to all the fabric shops on Berwick Street! They also have an online shop if you are based outside of London and need something a little unusual. This is what I bought for my sleeve heads. It comes on a roll so you can cut it to the length that you need. This does mean that they are rectangular though and a lot of the advice I could find online used shaped versions. I might try drafting my own next time as I came across a great post from Poppy Kettle about how she drafted her own using the sleeve pattern piece to give her the shape.
I did a lot of research into how to insert both items and actually found it tricky to find clear instructions on either. It was the positioning I was most confused about rather than how to attach them; should the shoulder pad extend into the seam allowance of the armsyce and therefore into the head of the sleeve or should it butt up against the seam line? In the end I used a trial and error method to see which I thought looked best and left it butted up against the seam. Please fell free to tell me if I've got this completely wrong!
I hand stitched both the pads and heads in by hand after pinning them in the correct position and trying the jacket on. I stitched along the stitched line that was already there on the sleeve head, which was lined up with the armhole stitching line; just with a simple running stitch. The shoulder pad I loosely tacked in along the straight edge at the armhole and then at the shoulder seam closest to the neck. My research said that it was important not to stitch the pads in too firmly as they need to be able to move within the jacket to sit right on the shoulders.
What are your experiences with sleeve heads and shoulder pads? Have you got any tips or preferences to share with me?