Lisa Garland - Silent Hill
Time to Make: 22 hours (not including knitting time)
Timeline of Construction: January 2009 - May 2009
Award: Photoshoot photos were featured in the Women of Valour: Around the World 2013 calendar for the month of May
Back in late 2007 I decided that I wanted to Cosplay a nurse from one of the Silent Hill games, but I didn't think that I was capable of doing the makeup or sculpting to make a monster nurse. Instead I thought it would be fun to Cosplay as Lisa, the tragic human nurse in the first game.
I bought most of the materials and the shoes for this costume in late 2007, but I kept putting off making the outfit until early 2009 when I decided that Lisa would be a fairly easy costume to pack and bring to Katsucon. I sort of put off making this costume because I didn't think that I could pull off Cosplaying a "womanly" character despite the fact that I'm over 20 years old. (^^);; I became really enthusiastic about this costume a few days before Katsucon when my friend Meg (Obscurity) wanted to Cosplay from Silent Hill with me and she made an awesome Henry costume from Silent Hill 4: The Room. <3
The dress was made using a denim material so it would be opaque. Of course, that meant the dress was rather heavy and didn't really flow. The material did work fairly nicely as a uniform type dress and it held its shape rather well and that was important since I accidentally made the dress too short. XD I was basing my design on a reference image of Lisa sitting down and I didn't notice that the skirt had ridden up a bit on her thighs as she was sitting. When my dress was nearly done I was watching clips from the games and I was surprised to find that her dress was practically knee level. I think the shorter dress worked out for me, though, since I'm rather short and the dress length made it look like I have really long legs and that I'm taller than I actually am.
The dress needed to have several darts added to it so it would have some shape. As I've already stated, denim is a pretty heavy material so it was originally really shapeless. I had to deviate a bit from Lisa'a dress design to ensure that the dress actually looked fitted because of my material choice. I had a hell of a time figuring out how many pockets Lisa actually has on her dress. Based on as many reference images as I could gather, I knew that she had one breast pocket (which actually covered one of the noticeable darts) and at least one lower pocket. To make my life easier, I decided to make just one lower pocket. I had a lot of trouble sewing the pockets onto the dress with my machine actually. The needle kept getting stuck because of all the layers of fabric. I also had trouble when I was trying to sew on sleeve bands to finish off the armholes without attaching full sleeves. This material was sometimes a pain to work with.
The hardest part of the costume to make was probably the belt on the dress and that was really annoying to engineer. I wanted it to appear that it was a continuous belt but it needed to be loose and to open so I could use the zipper in the back of the dress to get in and out of the costume (since denim has no stretch). The belt is layered and closes using velcro. I think it turned out fairly well. The collar on the dress was also sort of difficult to do. The dress pattern that I was modifying for the costume didn't have a full collar so I had to find another pattern and modify a collar. The credit for getting the collar to work goes entirely to my mom.
My mother knit my red cardigan too so the overall design is pretty close to the one in the game. I loved how it turned out and my mom knit the whole thing in just a week and a half. She really enjoys knitting and is wondering if I'll need any more sweaters for costumes in the future. XD
I think it's important to always save scraps of material and old clothing because you never know when it might come in handy. Lisa's "SP" armband was made using a piece of the leggings from the pants that were converted into the skirt for my Heather costume. I cut out a stencil and actually wrote on the text. After I had written out one side, I realized that it might have been easier and better to use heat ‘n bond to attach fabric lettering. The only annoying thing is that I couldn't get the colours to match between my nametag and my armband. I made the nametag on my computer, but both the printer at my home and the printer at work couldn't seem to properly print the colours that I wanted. It's also very difficult to get the dimensions (no matter how many times you measure them) to match up properly when you make images on the computer. XD I had to redo and reprint my nametag several times to make it fit the tag case. The tag case was an old con badge. I knew saving my con badges would come in handy someday. XD
Pretty much the only sort of disappointing thing about this costume is my hat. I used a standard nurse hat costume pattern that I found online that I attempted to alter for Lisa, but my attempt wasn't really successful. I also didn't bother making her earrings since I don't have pierced ears and the wig would have covered them anyway. My natural hair colour is brown (I used my real hair when I Cosplayed as Alessa) so it's sort of difficult to properly hide my real hair and pull back the wig hair to match Lisa's hairstyle. I was really happy with my wig. I originally bought one for the costume in 2007 but the colour was a bit bright and it lacked a skin part so I ordered a new one a few weeks before Katsu.
Finally, Darthmarysue helped me out with my eye makeup at Katsu so I can look back at pictures of me as Lisa and I actually think that this costume was fairly flattering. I failed at wearing heels, though. I loved my high heels, which I had ordered second-hand through eBay in late 2007. I had to keep taking them off and I sat down a lot during the con because they were very uncomfortable. I later got rid of those shoes and I bought a pair of comfort plus high heels to replace them. I did a couple of really fun photoshoots with Carroll and SolarTempest at Katsucon that turned out really nicely. I want to make some prop bandages and eventually do another photoshoot in a very Silent Hillish location. I definitely enjoyed Cosplaying Lisa at Katsucon so I don't plan to retire this costume anytime soon! :3
In May 2009 I updated this costume by cutting off the bottom of the dress and remaking it so it was longer and more accurate. The belt Lisa wears around her waist hid the adjustment. I re-wore the costume to Otakon 2009 and did a shoot at night with Stillvisions so I finally have evidence of the adjustments that I made to this costume. :3 In June 2012 I did a studio
calendar shoot of my Lisa costume as a model for the 2013 Futurecon charity calendar in honour
of the holiday International Nurses Day. The photographer allowed me to use some of the shoot
photos on my site and I couldn't be happier with the photos! It was a real honour to be a
model for a charity calendar, not to mention, the photos show a different side of Lisa. It was nice to smile in this costume for a change.
Events/Conventions this costume was worn to
Katsucon 2009 (Friday), Anime North 2009 (Sunday), Otakon 2009 (Saturday) & Polaris 2010 (Saturday)
Refractor Productions, Eurobeat King, SolarTempest, Raymond Turner, Stillvisions, Carroll Kong & Krissy Myers