Playing with worbla and FMQ

Oh I know, I know… if you are reading this, you are asking yourself what the heck is FMQ. Right?

Well… just bare with me for a little bit and I will show you! ūüėČ

Today I got to play with WORBLA!

Worbla is a thermoplastic material, which basically means you can mold it by heating it! You can use a blow drier, or heating gun, of apparently even hot water. With heat the material will become soft and easy to mold into whatever fancies your imagination.

You can learn more about itand see all the amazing possibilities here!

Worbla (I just love saying this word! it’s so weird its almost lovely!!! lol) it’s one of those things that one day you NEVER ever heard of it, then suddenly everyone in the costuming world is talking about.

Ive been reading about it for months and making plans on my mind. See the thing is… I ALWAYS wanted another Wonder Woman costume, but with a armor type breast plate, tiara and bracelets, but I never knew how to make it. =/ I can sew, but all those other little details, especially armor like pieces, I just couldn’t find a way of making. I researched armor make with craft foam. didn’t like much. also I found out a lot of people uses real metal… but they have special tools to cut it. I did NOT want to spend the money on those tools. so I pretty much just gave up. (I know, I know… I could have commissioned it. but where’s the fun on that??? lol)

So when I started reading about worbla I was sooooo excited! I could finally try something that didn’t involve new expensive tools, paying for someone to make it for me!

I bought it from Cosplay Supplies. I got 2 large sheets and I can’t remember the price. it’s definitely not a super cheap material, but it’s not super expensive either. it’s just… expensive! lol hopefully I can make tons of things with it!

I tested with a tiny bit of it. just to see how it really works. I started with a hair blow drier. It works! but it definitely takes a long time. worbla has 2 sides… a smooth shiny one, and a textured one. The smooth part is works as an adhesive part when heated, making it easy to “glue” it to itself or other things.

After a few tries with the blow drier, I decided to suck it up and use the heat gun! I was actually afraid to use it (that’s why I tried with the blow drier first.) because if you over heat it the worbla with bubble. =/ But everything was good with the heat gun and so much faster.

After doing a test run, I decided to make wonder woman’s tiara.


the sheet of worbla is thin. so to give pieces depth, people use craft foam. You sandwich it inside 2 pieces of worbla. Which is pretty awesome if you think of it. You can give your pieces whatever depth you want. =D

so I cut the pattern, 3 times. 2 times on worbla, and once with craft foam. Using the heat gun on the smooth side and then putting the craft foam on top of it. to make sure it didn’t cool down in some areas before I put the foam on it, I heated small sections at a time. When it was nicely “glued” on I trimmed the edges for the worbla as close as possible to the foam.


Then I did the same thing with the other piece of worbla.


I heated again the same way I did before, little by little and pressed the foam to it. after it was all done I used that purple carving tool to press down the edges. that’s what will give the depth, thickness to the piece!

By this point I was already deeply in love with this thing. the Worbla I mean!!!! it’s pretty amazing and easy to work with.

I noticed that heating it makes it change the color a little bit. Very little. it gets a bit darker. That what I paid close attention to while heating it so I wouldn’t over heat it!


And look at this!!!!! OMG I just love it!!! Like really really love it.

That detail I did with just another piece of worbla without the foam. I wanted that look and feel but without being too thick.


The thing with this material is that the textured side will be on the outside. That is great if you are actually looking for that effect. if you are not… if you want a smooth finish to your piece you will have to work to achieve it!!!

In all my researches if learn that you can get that smooth look by covering it with liquid gesso, and sanding it smooth. So it was time to gesso it up! You gotta give it some coats of gesso actually, to make sure you can sand it nicely. I used acrylic liquid gesso from Liquitex (you can find that at Michael’s. Ive given it 5 coats of gesso so far, and I think it’s pretty much done. I may give another, just in case.

I also got a modge podge sealant thing. I think it will help give it an even smoother finish. Ill have to do a test piece first though because I don’t even know if I can spray paint on top of it but my idea is to sand the gesso smooth then apply at least one coat of that sealant.

while I was applying the gesso on  (letting it dry completely between coats) I started practicing FMQ!

what the heck is that, you are asking since the very beginning right???

FMQ is Free Motion Quilting. It’s when you make those swirly patterns with your sewing machine, or even stitch around different shapes, etc.

Now you may be asking yourself why the heck¬†I want to learn that!!! well… because I am crazy.

while¬†looking (and saving) reference pictures of Jasmine I noticed¬†her costume’s¬†fabric had¬†some patterns. first I realized¬†it was actually 2 different fabric. a sheer one on top of the other. Then in many pictures it looks like it has very light polka dots on it.


jasmine-oasis2010Can you see it????

Looks like little faded polka dots doesn’t it???

But then I saw this picture!

patternsee the swirly stitches in there??? I do lol

so that’s what the FMQ is for.

Ive never done it, so today I decided to practice!

and this thing is a bitch! they make it looks so easy on those tutorials! but it’s not!


See the beginning on the far corner??? That’s where I began. Shaky, and some stitches just “jumped” out of the pattern!¬† o.O


That took a while!!!! I can’t even imagine how long it’s going to take me to do that! it won’t be as tight and close together though, but i’m sure it will be very time consuming! and the polka dots??? they are sequins!

20140216-185939.jpg  20140216-185947.jpg

The image on the right is the FMQ on blue fabric, with a slightly lighter blue thread and covered with the blue sheer fabric. It sort of gives the right effect! I just need the sequins!!!

That was all for today!!! I was pretty happy and excited with all the results I got today, right until I tuned off my sewing machine and unplugged the pedal cord from it and gosh knows what I did, something from inside few out, and the pluggie part on the machine is not there anymore. So I can’t plug the pedal. =(

I have a spare machine that I can use but it’s not as good as this one! it will do the job, of course, but I am sooooo pissed I broke it. Why did I even unplugged the pedal??? I don’t need to do that! I never do it! GRRRRR

well at least I had a good progress on stuff!


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