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Margo's Kickstarter Project:
The Italian Lady's Patterns

Our latest project, the long awaited Late Italian Renaissance Lady's Patterns, is near completion. However, we need to raise funds for the production costs. In the past, I've funded new releases by doing pre-sales. The drawback to pre sales it that sometimes it takes a long time to get enough of them, and people who've ordered get frustrated, as do I. So this time, I'm trying something different. As of February 27, I've launched my Italian Renaissance Lady's Pattern Kickstarter Project.

What is Kickstarter? In a nutshell, Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Creators like me present their projects, with a specific financial goal, and people like you back them by pledging funds. If I don't raise the entire amount I ask for, I get nothing, and you don't get charged. If the goal is met, I receive the funds for the project. And in return for your pledges, I offer various "rewards" for various levels of contribution. In the case of this project, the chief rewards will be the patterns themselves, offered for a pledge of their actual retail price. (For more information about the mechanics of Kickstarter, click here.)

This Kickstarter will cover the first three Italian patterns: The late 16th century Italian Lady's Underpinnings, and the late 16th century Lady's Wardrobe, which will include a Venetian dress with two styles of ladder laced bodice, a Florentine "Eleanora de Toledo" dress, and a doublet-style bodice with attached skirt, forming a gown. Accessories such as partlets, a pocket, and hat will be included. Finally, due to the resounding success of the first few days of our campaign, I've added the Italian Zimarra overdress, a piece to be worn over the skirts and bodices of the Wardrobe pattern. It also makes an elegant bathrobe!

My original estimate for producing just the Underpinnings and Wardrobe patterns ran to $7500. Not knowing how much support we might receive, we tentatively made that our primary project goal, and set the duration to more than a month in order to let everyone who might be interested participate. We knew this was a LOT of money. But that's what it takes to produce the best patterns in the world. It covers printing the tissue sheets, the paper and other supplies for the manuals, the cost of producing and shipping the Rewards, and the 10% in fees to Kickstarter and Amazon. The figure didn't include anything beyond those production costs - I wasn't asking for support while I work on the patterns: they're nearly done. I just needed help turning them into tangible products for you. Ultimately, I knew it could be done, because we'd done it before. Way back in 2001, I had a pre sale for the Elizabethan Lady's Ensemble, and you came through. In two short weeks, we made over $10,000, and made Historic Costume Patterns possible. In turn, it raised the bar for Elizabethan costuming all over the world. But this is 2013, and a much different economy than back then, so we weren't really sure how things would turn out this time. With that in mind, we launched our project, and sat back to wait through a nail-biting month.

The first day of our Kickstarter campaign was phenomenal! We reached our original goal in only 15 hours! For the very first time, I'll be putting the final touches on my patterns without worrying how I'm going to pay for them. The extra funds are also allowing me to add a third pattern I'd dropped earlier to reduce production costs, the Italian Zimarra overdress. Of course, the duration of a Kickstarter project is fixed once launched, so we'll still have to wait through the rest of the period, but now I can concentrate on getting everything ready to go the instant funding arrives. Knowing the money will be arriving, I can also put a few of the long lead items in motion early, such as the tissue production, so that might save some time as well. The current plan is for the Underpinnings to ship in late April, and the Wardrobe a month or two later.

Even though we've surpassed our original goals, there's still cause to participate, as this is the only way to receive the Italian Patterns as part of the first round of deliveries to our Kickstarter supporters. In honor of their contributions, our supporters will be the first to receive their patterns, and we won't open up direct ordering outside of the Kickstarter mechanism until all supporter patterns have been shipped, and possibly for a short time thereafter. So the best way to receive copies of our Italian Renaisannce Lady's Patterns is to join our Kickstarter.

And to those of you who have already contributed, I'll repeat what I said over on the project page: Let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and support! I wish everyone in the world could have a day like I had February 27th. You've helped us help you to make beautiful things!

With thanks and gratitude,





Margo Anderson - One Tough Costumer!