More Sewing with Houndstooth + My Romper!

Hello there, lovelies!

I've been at it again, having some splendid fun sewing!

I revamped a sweater u got that was a but too big. 
It's Summer so I figured why bother with long sleeves? Off they came!

    I added a fee darts which wasn't hard at all and then sewed the sides.

There was some puckering near the shoulders so I added in something that was a combination of a dart and pleat... or maybe I just made something up altogether, I really don't know lol. But I'm pleased with the end result. I've worn it out twice and it's comfy and perfect for a warm evening! The cherry on top was the
 bow I made from scraps. Go Go Gadget Retro!!

Once again, sewing is officially my favorite hobby! I'd like to get into latex clothing in the future, I love shiny materials! ;)

Oh and I finished that romper, here's me modeling my own creation. I had soooo little fabric, I wasn't sure I'd be able to actually pull it off..but it was successful...though I did scorch the pattern a tiny bit with an iron!

Til next time!

The Retro Natural

Red Houndstooth Skirt Sewing Adventures!

I'm back with a little update from my last post and I'm happy to report that I made a decent skirt. Go me! I have this anxiety about sewing, I feel like I'm going to waste a bunch of fabric! I'm getting over it though. I'm trying to create one article of clothing each week. This will help with the need to hold off on starting a project. So I made the skirt and my next project was a playsuit for this weekend, also a success! Below are a few shots of my skirt/outfit. I tested it out on a date night at the Queen Mary. The plan was just to walk around but we stumbled on the Mods versus Rockers rally. There was live surf music and lots of classic mopeds and motorcycles. My phone wouldn't take good photos unless there was really great lighting..and there wasn't in the bar area. But I still got a few (sort of shoddy) snaps of my outfit in other areas of the boat. It was really fun goofing around..I think it'll be a common theme since it's so close to home.

A great shot of the pattern and the sheen, oh I love sheen! Plus background photo bombing objects.

I made the Missus a matching tie. She really liked it. We looked very dashing if I do say so myself! (Apologies on the chest shot, luckily my boobs aren't that big)

Sewing is officially my favorite hobby! I'm wearing the playsuit I made tomorrow
to a birthday party, photos to follow!
Til then,

~The Retro Natural

Sew into Sewing!

Hello lovelies!

I've been trying my hand at sewing and it's going much better than I expected! I'll show you all the outcome of this gorgeous houndstooth print soon, it's for a special but totally free outing to go see Raphael Saadiq perform Bon Dylan classics. I made a matching tie for the Dear One and we plan to go out in style :)

I'll have some photos for ya soon enough as the show is this Saturday!

~The Retro Natural

Now on Instagram!

It woulda been nice to give you all my Instagram handle wouldn't it?
If you've got it, find me, I'm GoGoGadgetRetro :)

One of my recent looks.

~The Retro Natural

A Mid Summer BENT Dream

Hello Lovelies!

I don't know how many Los Angeles followers I have out there but if you're one of them and want to attend a very fun, very entertaining drag performance show - along with burlesque and belly dancing tossed in the mix - I'll be headlining at A Mid Summer BENT Dream. Proceeds benefit the Equal Rights Campaign. Fun and fundraising all at once! Plus you get a raffle ticket if you wear a mustache or wings ...who doesn't love a reason to don a 'stache or fairy wings? Grab your tickets by clicking here :)

My Hair Recently

Simple roll and a low bun. Protective styles all the way!

~ The Retro Natural

Project More Hair Flowers

Hello Lovelies!

I've made some more hair flowers for the Summer. Yellow and white are perfect colors that go with almost anything.

Next hair flower project will be getting some pretty reds and pinks into the mix! I think I'll show off my hair scarves next though. What are you current favorite accessories?


Where in the World is Retro Natural?

Oh my Lovelies,
(Lovelies sounds better so, I'm changing it up!)

I've been many things lately... tired, giddy, lazy, frustrated, stressed. But as of today, I'm feelin' pretty good! Shall i say a bit more balanced? Life can be too much at times. So much to do and so little time for the self. I've been trying to do just that for the past month. May was my birthday month so that meant even more time for the self albeit with tons of partying ;)

So as an "oops, sorry for going MIA" apology, here's a visual recap of what I've been up to.

I'm still semi MIA as I've turned off my facebook and haven't been doing videos either. (Can I just say that even with getting the right cords for my pc, I ran into yet another issue regarding a broken port for my internet cable?!) But I've been on Tumblr because it's just more interesting to me at the moment and doesn't require as much attention. Ah, that's it! I think I ran out of attention to give! However, I'm slowly filling that tank back up. So thank you all for not unsubscribing!

Went to a roof top party..dancing was performed. Fun was had!

I've been in the garden a bit with the Missus, I helped re-pot these aloe plants. 
This is the before photo lol *dusts hands off*

The Mustang is back and running like a dream,
 snapshot of a little trip to the market.

Went to eat at one of my favorite Thai food places that has really amazing customer service. Plus the clown fish is always entertaining, he snuggles in a bed of sea plants. Plus, plus, seaweed salad and sake are a nice pastime.

Had a Friday date night and walked to Congregation Ale House which has 
tons of micro brews's a bit blasphemous (I dig that!) and it's very fun, 
also great customer service! T'was cold so we dressed warm and stayed toasty.

Met up with my sisters and visited the Pike.

We also killed zombies and monsters at the arcade and then headed to the beach. Easy breezy day!

Had coffee at a coffee shop I hadn't been to yet. 
Nice atmosphere but the vibe wasn't really me. Next!

Though, her coffee was pretty good!

Made a crochet hair flower and finally put the thing to use
..a bobby pin was all I needed.

Stared at things I wanted to get working, like this kerosene lamp 
that I still have yet to fill with kerosene. One day..

Used a fabulous coffee butter bar made by my friend Telle *waves*  
Suuuuch supple skin after slapping some of this on!

Went to one of my fav Hollywood spots for my pre-birthday celebrations 
...vegan shrimp and really good sour soup

 After food noms and whatnot, I danced to drum n bass and got really sore..I look happy here but I think I was in pain the next morning.
 I dance hard, wouldn't want it any other way! 

I also continued my dancing fever at a Flux Pavillion show, 
this time, dubstep, hard, loud, dubstep ..oh how I love thee! I was recovering from a cold and a lot of youngsters couldn't seem to handle their alcohol/drugs/jealous lovers but I had a good time!

Celebrated Pride with friends and went to a very hot club, proceeded to sweat profusely as I danced, walked back to the car clammy and caught a cold!

Went on a artsy date to see Cafe Vida, it was a really good play!
 I look awkward but I just wanted the poster to show lol.. I'm just working and trying to keep it mellow.. Hope you enjoyed the visuals, do you forgive me for being absent? Do ya?? I totally would have failed grade school at this rate, huh?

May was crazy but June will be a simple month of simple activities. Don't confuse simple with boring though. I have an erotica reading to go to and while I won't be boozing it up nor dancing all night, it'll be very sensual indeed! So, til next time and it won't be over a month until "next time" comes around!

~The Retro Natural

Back in the Garden!

Me and the misses are planting our sprouted veggies at home in our urban garden and it's lovely out! Super sunny, expect extreme squinting. What a nice combo though, right? We've got spinach, sugar snap peas, black seeded lettuce and yellow squash. They're doing really well and we can't wait to sample them! Is it just us or are baby plants just as adorable as baby animals??

Anyone else planting? What's the easiest thing you've grown?

Til next time!

~The Retro Natural

Almost up and Running!

Summery days are ahead...woo hoo!

And that's not the only nice news, my home pc is almost up! I just have to get it connected to the internet..woo hoo! I plan to post a bit more often..perhaps doing a hair tutorial a bit more often if I can continue to find ones that really inspire me or come up with some on my own.

I'm also working on another page for this site that'll link finished hair styles to their video tutorial. I thought that would be genius because that way, you don't have to look through the whole blog for a tut. Go me!

Soon lovies, reeeeal soon!

~The Retro Natural

The Most Peaceful Lunch Spot

I read a post by Lucy Mae some time ago begging the question, where do you eat lunch while at work? For me, the duck pond at my job is one of the most tranquil spots to have lunch at. It's scenic, (usually) quiet and the shrubs and water features are just so calming!

I call it the duck pond because a duck couple has pretty much claimed the the location as their castle. They do share it with the crows and seagulls though. They're pretty used to us humans too. They walk or waddle over to me often! I come out here to clear my head and get some air. Some people smoke out here and that can kill the scenic feel but otherwise it's a lovely little spot. It really has a pseudo feng shui feel to it. Very earthy, lots of shrubs and greenery, rocks, streams and waterfalls here and there. It's the best work lunch spot ever!

Do you take lunch anywhere nice?

~The Retro Natural

More Photo Sharing

Hey lovies! I'm proud to announce that I'll be sharing more photos with you all because I've finally got a smarty pants phone and some fun apps including blogger and instagram! So even if I can't post a detailed blog entry, I can at least share a photo of something retro and fabulous :)

Here's a few to get the ball rolling!

1. A simple protective style with a retro scarf.

2. My beloved vintage lamp.

3. Vintage peep toe wedges from Ms. Vanessa of Sweet Leigh!

In other news, if you follow me on twitter, you mighta noticed that keeping up with the sites I manage has been a bit difficult for me. I'm seeing that I'm going to put some thongs on hold. I can't dedicate enough time to videos, I've been trying but I'm still lagging! So I'm gonna remain neutral about it. I won't close my channel or anything but I can't feel compiled to post if it just can't happen organically. So there ya have it. Nice to kinda get that off my chest. I'm gonna do what's easiest for me at the moment. As for the rest, que sera, sera! It's Spring time, so I'm alright with trying something new.

~The Retro Natural

The Simple Updo

Hello, Lovies!

I recently won a raffle to have a hair styling session at Mahogany Hair Revolution here in Los Angeles so I scheduled my appointment for this past Sunday.. I was pretty happy to be able to have my hair done by someone else for a change, it can get a bit tiring doing it yourself all of the time, ya know? I wanted to get some big voluminous hair (a la Tracee Ellis Ross if possible - I didn't have a photo so that may have helped a bit more) but I actually ended up with tendrils..Shirley temple curls I suppose? It wasn't the look I was going for and they were pretty but I realized when I got home that my hair + Shirley temple curls = tangles after about two days. I've been noticing my hair tangling more often so I decided I had to brush it out before it got to that point. While I was initially happy to have my hair done at a salon, I wasn't used to being in a salon for such a long time and being there for 7+ hours was very daunting for me. It's awesome that I style my own hair on a normal basis I suppose. :)

 The Shirley temple curls

 Today, after brushing out my hair
Being in the chair did give me a bit of styling enthusiasm so I plan to get back in the mirror and see what I can come up with. I got some tips on helping my ends (even though I trimmed recently, grr!) and getting the product residue off my scalp completely so I was happy to get some suggestions that will help the overall health of my hair.  I think I may have to wash my hair tomorrow as there's more oil than I imagined on my hair.  I'm not used to feeling oil when I touch my hair so I think washing is the only way to go. I'm grateful to the Mahogany team but I think DIY is best for this gal. The best part though is getting your hair feeling in the world!

~The Retro Natural

An Interview with SweetLeigh Hats and Accessories

Sorry for the missing in action, March is a busy month for me at work! However, I have something wonderful for ya to read sooo...

I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely and talented Vanessa Leigh through a mutual amiga (Hey Tasha!) at a get together.  Vanessa is the oh-so-fabulous mastermind behind SweetLeigh -  a line of beautiful hats and hair accessories and it's chock full of retro prints and fabrics and she's even coming out with a Grace Jones line! I picked Miss Leigh's brain a bit and have a little interview for you all, so enjoy!

TheRetroNatural - What inspires you when creating your accessories?

SweetLeigh - I am inspired by glamour! I start with a muse, like Frida Kahlo, or Marlene Dietrich, or Grace Jones who inspired the Winter collection (The Amazing Grace Jones Collection), always women with unique style. I love old movies, great music, art, and all of those things inspire me as they do everyone I suppose. I of course love current fashion as well, Valentino never disappoints for lady like fabulousness, Jill Sander is inspired this spring and fall as is Suno. But really it comes down to my interpretation of the muse. I don't really believe in trend, I worship at the house of style. In my world the hat never went anywhere, and women want to be seen.

TheRetroNatural - How long have you been sewing?

SweetLeigh - I've been sewing since, 2001? Not long really. Sometimes, I think it's a shame I never thought to go to Fashion school as a kid. I was super political, an activist for over a decade while working in non profit orgs and then moved into non profit case management which is a very different path that directly led me to sewing, so there you go. All is well.

TheRetroNatural - Where would you like to see your hats and accessories sold at in the future? (You know you gotta tell the Universe whatcha want lol)

SweetLeigh - Universe, I would love for my hats to be at the LACMA gift shop, as well the Craft & Folk Art Museum gift shop here in Los Angeles, which has the best gift shop ever! Universe I would love for my accessories to be sold at an upscale vintage boutiques where people love and appreciate craft! I would love to make a limited edition collection especially for a design house like Carven or Rodarte.

TheRetroNatural - What's currently inspiring you for a future line of hats/accessories/etc?

SweetLeigh - I am obsessed with Masterpiece's Downtown Abbey and it takes place over my favorite time in the 20th Century. The second season ended with the New Year of 1920. I have also newly started watching Boardwalk Empire. I am definitely considering doing a spin on the Cloche for spring. Which I need to figure out yesterday! Wink. And as of now, I am pretty committed that Carmen Miranda be my muse for Summer Cannot wait!

Anyone who's into retro hair styling would benefit from owning a piece (or seven!) from her Etsy shop. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Vanessa at a vintage and craft market and I even got to try on a few things.

Check out a few additional snapshots from the market.. I'm in love!

 Miss Vanessa!

Though I dressed up a tad, it was really cold outside! On came the razzleberry sweater! Vanessa, you rock! I'm happy to support an ultra crafty designer who not only has an excellent eye for creating beautiful pieces but is also eco friendly!

You can learn more about Sweet Leigh and shop by checking out these fine, dandy links:

Treat yourself to something pretty, lovies! I think the cherry print tilt hat is calling me!

~The Retro Natural