Where to even start...
This costume was a nitpicky labor of love. Every single part of it needed to be made by hand to make it match the textures to my liking. Even at that I still have some issues with things like the number of pieces in my chain (which is closer to 62 than the 70 that it should be), and the fact that the front of the skirt isn't as close to the actual leopard pattern from the skirt texture as the back is. My version of it uses inspiration from both the cutscene version (earrings, leopard pattern on the tights, the color of the sweater, the loops on the sweater) and the in-game rendering too (the style of the sweater collar, color of the undershirt, color of the wig and color of the skirt) because both versions had aspects I liked about them.
I want to give a HUGE thank-you to Alessa & CreativeGuy for being able to use their awesome pictures from visitsilenthill.com as reference shots. I would have spent many hours trying to figure out lots of the detail work and may have missed things if it was not for their work on the website!
The sweater started off as a red cardigan with nice long sleeves (since hers come midway onto her hands). I dyed it twice until it was more of a maroon/burgundy. It is kind of a mix between the CG and in game color, though I admittedly prefer the game render better. After it was dyed I cut it apart and resewed it into the right shape. This was easier said than done; I had the worst time getting the collar to have a slight angle to it. The CG version has a much more extreme angle which I wasn't particularly fond of, but eventually I got it to be more refined after hours of pinning. The bottom hem was also a little tricky since her character model has a bit of a "fold" which makes the portion closest to the button line at the bottom slightly higher than it is at her sides. Finally I created the loops which fit on her shoulders and glued them down.
This was without a doubt the most obnoxiously tedious process I've ever undertaken. I originally had searched for 6 months online/in fabric stores/thrift stores etc for the perfect leopard print pattern only to realize it didn't exist. There were prints in the perfect colors but the spots were small, and since there is a large size discrepancy between the spots on the collar and skirt I knew the only way I'd ever be satisfied would be to make it myself. Then the search was on for finding a good background fabric to use for the skirt/collar. I wanted something which reflected light, but I did NOT want to use PVC. I even ordered swatches online that I paid for (which I never do, free is usually the only way I'll ever go with them) and came up empty handed. Originally I had been hoping to find a stretch velvet in a dusty rose/mauve color but that doesn't exist apparently... I looked for many months for "the" fabric and had just about given up until I checked out a Hancock in MD and found something I loved. It is a costume fabric, and it is shiny under certain lighting conditions. Unfortunately it is non-stretch, so sometimes the back of the skirt bows out in pictures because I could only make it so tight and the zipper gets a bit ripply too since I suck at putting invisible zips in. Anyway it was really cheap which sweetened the deal and I immediately turned it into the skirt and started adding the spots. I did the back of the skirt first, which can be matched almost perfectly to the actual game model's spot pattern. The front used to match perfectly until I had to paint the inside of the spots a different color...The inside of the spots needed about 7 coats of paint to be opaque thanks to the base skirt fabric not absorbing the paint, and trying to remove the sloppy paint that was on the black part of the spots ruined the finish on the liquid lame fabric that I used. I had to tear them all off (a solid 8-12 hours worth of work) and start all over. I cried like a baby when I realized that I had to remake the front...well live and learn I guess! Luckily my bf talked me out of my crying spell and I went back to work and finished it the next week and carefully painted the spots on the back. By the end of it I never wanted to see another leopard spot again!
The collar was made before the skirt as a test run to see if my method would work. I painted the collar strip slightly pink because the texture file makes her collar appear more pink than the skirt for whatever reason. I then followed the texture map and made the collar, with about 2 inches of continued pattern since my spots were ever so slightly too small. I actually managed to get the spots close to the right size without measuring anything. I then painted the inside of the spots and attached my coin in the center (with its' gold jump ring) and pressed Velcro onto the back of the collar.
The coins she has are not blank. I realized this thanks to pictures from Alessa & CreativeGuy's website. The coin on the collar is slightly smaller than those on the belt, and it is tilted at an angle. I made the Eagles and "text" on all 4 coins and painted them gold. The one on the collar attaches with a gold jump ring, the ones on the skirt belt attach with thick thread that is tied to the belt but not visible.
This thing was a lot of work, and I wish I'd measured it more carefully. I am bad with using X-acto blades but I managed to cut out 70 belt links. I only ended up using 62 or so, so they really should have been a little smaller in the end. I painted them gold, but made them a little different later because only the eagle coins are a true gold, the other belt pieces seem to be more of a silver-y gold. The belt closures at either end were also hand made out of a disk and craftfoam. They were fragile, but held up pretty well for pictures. The blue belt is a painted ribbon.
This one is simply printed from the game model. I knew I could never paint this on and get it to look nice since I suck at painting. Again thanks to Alessa & Creativeguy for this reference picture!
Semi-sheer white tights are SO not in right now...I had the worst time finding them lol. Adding the leopard spots was kind of hard too until I figured out a good technique. They're very faint like in the prison CG but they are there.
These started life as slouchy beaded cowboy boots that did not have the sole connecting the back heel/front of the heel. They did have the perfect seam going across the front of the foot and the heel shape was right so I couldn't resist them even though they were a size too small. I also really liked the fabric since I think her boots look like suede rather than leather on the model map. I first cut away the lining and the extra slack and put snaps all along the back of them. Then I built up the arch in the heel with model magic that was painted/gessoed to be smooth. Finally I added a stripe going down the center of each boot to represent a seam because the suede was too thick to sew through and my machine couldn't get all the way down the Rings:
All the rings were fashioned entirely out of model magic. I don't recommend this method as they break after repeatedly taking them on and off no matter how big you make them. Sculpey may work better. The gold ring was painted a greenish gold, the wedding band is just plain silver and the black hexagon ring is silver with darker shading around the hexagon to mimic the shape that Maria's has.
I never ever would have noticed this without Alessa's eagle eyes. On her Maria tutorial she points out that certain CG scenes make it appear as if Maria has some sort of odd earrings. They are best visible in the CG during the Brookhaven basement scene ("anyway, what do you mean anyway!?"). They are odd dangly orbs, but since I liked this character detail (because they do make sense when contrasted with Mary's pearl studs) so I decided to make them. I went to Michaels and picked out beads that I liked and selected some funky orbs to use for the base. I strung up beads and put the orbs on the bottom and strung them to clip on earring hardware since my ears aren't pierced. It was funny making these because I realized how much I like to follow another person's design; I feel like I'm awful at improvising myself.
-Chinese Cleaver: painted balsa wood coated in shiny modpodge with a plastic wooden handle.
-White Chrism: glass bottle with a cork, salt & label from the game model
-my revolver: modified toy gun with custom handle and custom barrel; the handle is painted with several mixed acrylic colors, silver bits finished with shiny modpodge and were painted with silver acrylics
-Val's Maria revolver: poster board, real shell casings (!), balsa wood, spray paint, acrylic paint
-Rust Colored Egg & Red Egg: sponge painted wooden eggs