First try using Worbla to make a DC Bombshell Supergirl “S” Plate

DC Bombshell Supergirl

DC Bombshell Supergirl

Last month I made a costume based on the new DC Bombshell Supergirl statue. My first attempt at the “S” plate was made with craft foam, but riveting it to the leather belt proved to be too much and the corners got crushed. I needed a stronger material so I figured this would be a good time to test out Worbla. I’d been hearing great things about this thermoplastic and seeing some amazing creations, so I order a large sheet online, but we now also sell it in the shop: Three Muses Worbla

Supergirl plate first attempt

Supergirl plate first attempt

The Worbla comes rolled up and is a little hard to work with in that state, so first I lightly heated it to make it flat. At this point I was using a hair dryer for heating. It seemed to be taking WAY longer than those easy breezy tutorials I had watched. Also, my dryer kept shutting itself off when it got too hot. I finally managed to get it flat enough to trace my pattern and then cut it out with an Exacto knife and scissors.

Tracing pattern

Tracing pattern

Cutting out pieces
Cutting out pieces

The curve in it actually worked for my design because I needed it to curve against my body when on. But you can see it didn’t exactly get flat with a hair dryer. Since I was moving on to the heating portion of things, it was time to bring in the big guns. The heat gun to be exact.

I first tried it on a test piece, which is the weird wobbly looking thing to the right of the plate. It started getting wiggly looking if it got too hot. But it stuck to the other piece really easily with a secure hold. Heating it up slowly and steadily seemed to be the best method to make it pliable without warping it too much. I didn’t really get the hang of seeing the color “change from caramel to light brown” like the tutorial on the website says. There was a lot of guessing involved. But attaching it was really easy, smooth and quick.

Worbla attached to form plate

Worbla attached to form plate, test piece on right

Next up I started sanding to make it smooth. So I sanded, and sanded, and sanded my little heart out with fine grade sand paper and it still looked rough. I read about covering it with gesso and then sanding it smooth, but all I had handy was resin and I’m impatient. Resin it is! I did 3 coats of resin, letting each one dry for a couple hours and decided a bit of texture was just fine with me. I was tired of sanding and ready to get started painting.

First coat of paint

First coat of paint

All the tutorials recommend using acrylics, but I just had spray paint and fabric paint so I was determined to make that work. The gold parts were done with spray paint in a cup, which happens to be a favorite technique of mine for getting a nice metallic appearance. The dark part is the first coat of paint, which is Tulip fabric paint in red and black mixed together. It took about 3 layers of paint to get it nice and solid.

Worbla Plate vs. Foam Plate

Worbla Plate vs. Foam Plate

I am happy to say that the Worbla held up really well when riveted to the belt and was much more solid than the attempt with the craft foam. I was doing a pretty easy piece, but it still was not as easy to work with as I thought it would be. My next project after this was a full chestplate and that required a lot of heating, messing up and re-doing.  It is a material that definitely requires a lot of practice to get just right. The good thing is that is can be reheated when you mess up. I saved every little scrap for future projects and hope to get the hang of it a little better. The Supergirl belt was a success and I’m glad I went the extra step and made it out of something solid and long lasting.

DC Bombshell Supergirl

DC Bombshell Supergirl

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8 thoughts on “First try using Worbla to make a DC Bombshell Supergirl “S” Plate

    • Thanks! The boots style is Legend and are by Pleaser shoes. I had to cut the split in the front and also dye them that shade of red. They show red in the catalog photos but when you get them it is a really ugly shade of red, more like maroon.

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  1. I hope you don’t mind if I pick your brain a little bit more….. :D?
    A) I was wondering about your boot choice, I’m plus sized and I did find another Pleaser boot with a larger thigh, but they’re patent leather did you purposely choose matte leather because of the quality? ie will the patent look cheap and horrific in photos? And to hem the cut in the boots did you just flip the leather to the insides a bit?
    B) What materials did you use for the skirt and the gold fabric? Yours maybe looks like a lycra blend but I’ve seen others with satin or maybe charmeuse, what was your thought process in fabric selection? (I’m wary of working with stretch..I made a little slip for another costume to keep a little modesty while walking up stairs etc and the lycra just does not like me…) But the gold has me pretty stumped…I’ve used a gold snakeskin fabric for my Codex costume but the texture would be a problem for Supergirl

    Anyways, any advice would be much appreciated, although I do understand if you need to keep some trade secrets 😉

    Happy Sewing

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    • No problem! The boots I went with have elastic at the back of the thigh so they would actually work well for a larger thigh, especially once you split the front. I chose the matte leather because of the retro bombshell theme and the look of the statue. Also, it matches the leather waist cincher. If you do a waist cincher in vinyl than you could make it work. I didn’t flip the hem in at all, I just glued the edges shut.
      The skirt and top are stretch cotton twill. I chose the fabric because of the color. I did have some trouble with the edges fraying because I was in a hurry and did not hem the skirt. The gold striping is gold ribbon.

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