I drafted the pattern for the dress by hand and chose a cotton seersucker that already showed a bit of wear and uneven dyeing, lending to the feeling of age and distress that pretty much everything in Bioshock has. When it came to the back of the dress, which in the game includes twelve purple buttons as fasteners, I opted to include a hidden zipper that's covered by a piece of fabric with those same twelve buttons on it just because I know the joy of cosplay too well to know that there's never enough time to secure twelve buttons when you're trying to change fast! Distressing, my absolutely favorite part, took a couple days, and I used motor oil, dirt, grease, and a super special vat of fake blood to wear away at the dress. In a throw of accuracy, I also used a pair of vintage hooks that are actually the exact same hooks that the Spider Splicers use in game and tore away at the hems, seams, etc.
I did use my own natural hair in the costume, but after a bad haircut leaving my hair too short for its own good I chose to construct a weft to use for her shoulder-length ponytail. Machine sewing the hair strips onto a base and then hand sewing them onto a clip, I attached a headbow I had made from ribbon, glue, and a hair clip and called it a day.
The butterfly ring is another little detail I added to mimic the Blue Morpho butterflies of Sophia Lamb's cult (and that notorious promotional picture of a scavenger Little Sister with a butterfly on her finger). Using a craft store Monarch butterfly toy, I painted over the wings with acrylic paint and then after a few layers I applied translucent glass paint to give the wings a more eerie glow. All that was left was gluing a ring base onto the bottom of the toy.
The ADAM Syringe was the biggest doozy - it took three whole days of 9 am to 11pm working to get it finished but shockingly only cost about $30 to make. The base is a pressure cleaner head that I sawed the nozzle off of and covered with a piece of spray-painted PVC to make the barrel, and the actual needle itself is just a wood dowel that, using a dremel, I sanded to a point. The baby bottle containing the ADAM is actually a salt grinder that I sawed most of the working parts off of and then secured a baby nipple on top with the help of a flance and some epoxie. I rigged up an LED, waterproofed it, and put it inside, and added the support and stand for the bottle using washers, PVC, and a piece of pipe from Home Depot. The ADAM itself is actually red tea which is the perfect shade of reddish brown and looks absolutely stunning when lit up with the LED. Distressing was just a messy dabbling of black and brown paint, giving it a rusted and weathered look.
I won't go into too much detail about the make-up since this description is already turning into an essay, but it took an entire palette of white make-up and half a bottle of pale liquid foundation to get my skin that shade, and the application of everything from grease make-up to fake blood and dirt took an hour and a half each morning to put on.
Best Character Likeness - Metrocon 2010