Wouldn't you know, it feels like things are looking up. The cotton wadding arrived today, along with the second order of washers. The washers are from McMaster-Carr and do they ever ship fast! Thank you for the encouragement, I needed it, I was almost paralyzed there for a sec.
And Nancy, I didn't know about cotton wadding either, just wanted some after reading about the shoulder pad in Classic Tailoring Techniques :)) I got some on eBay and it looks and feels like something that can work for this jacket. Els was kind enough to offer some pictures of the inside of shoulder pads she has so, as always, it's all a process. (Els, I sent you an email so if you didn't receive it please let me know at bjorum at mac dot com)
The eBay seller also has a website; UpholsteryTradeSupplies.com. Below is a picture with some more info.
The washers will work great I think. The stainless steel ones are more grayish compared to the zinc plated, so mixing them up is probably a good thing. They are not heavy which is good because the pearls and stones add PLENTY of weight.
I cut another large swatch so I can test the scale and position of the cross in relation to the pearls and crystals. Gives me something to do while watching TV ;)