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#192619 - 02/10/09 02:26 AM Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange
EchosMom Offline

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I've combined some discussions on sweater making and centralized them into this thread. Everyone feel free to contribute with your experiences and ideas!
I will be adding some ideas and pictures on Noelle's dresses to this thread as well. Keeping the sweater making discussions in a dedicated thread will make the topic more search friendly.


Originally Posted By: Kim & Lilly
Here you go! Let me now if I can do anything to help or answer any questions. :~)

http://pets.webshots.com/album/559555985wKnpJR

For those of you viewing this for the first time, this is why I made the vest.

http://pets.webshots.com/album/561973185iyaJau


Originally Posted By: Deserttrain
The little Umbrella who found her way to my home started out with two collars placed by Dr Todd Driggers to protect her chest from the mutilation and let it heal. After many months I took the large collar off after seeing the t-shirt on here, I think luv my coco bean sent the pattern, anyway I made the t-shirt and put it on her before I took the large collar off. I think she needs to be kept from seeing her chest to help her protect herself from that awful way of comforting herself --mutilating. In time I took the small round plastic collar off her too and she is fine.
I change the t-shirt by putting the new one over the old and tie the first ties before untying the old ones then I sip the old t-shirt off her and finish tying the new one. Today I took a close look at her chest and chills ran down my back seeing the scars left and the barren area where no featheres will ever grow again. This was the result of years and years of mutilation. I had that same sad feeling I had when I first saw her and I just wanted to wrap my arms around her and cry.

That place that sells "bird diapers" and "flight suits" has sweaters for mutilators and one in particular for protecting the back. The little U2 who shares my home also damaged her back and I got ideas from those items they sell for birds who mutilate to fashion her t-shirts for protecting her back. I got ideas for material to use for her t-shirt and added a protecting fabric panel to the front. Take a look at the sweaters they offer for more ideas. I thought they were very interesting.


Originally Posted By: Charlie
Here is that site Desertrain was talking about. I hate the "costumes" but this may be interesting for you guys with mutilators.

Avian Fashion's Feather Protectors


Originally Posted By: Desertrain
Thanks for the link to the site, Charlie. I did not know if it was okay to give more information about it. I got a lot of help viewing the "feather protectors" and made many changes to the original t-shirt pattern.


Originally Posted By: luv my Coco bean
Desertrain...I'm so happy to hear that the t shirt is working for you...she must be so much more comfortable without the collars on now. It is sad to see scars and featherless skin on these beautiful birds, but to see open wounds and blood is so much worse!!

Originally Posted By: katy girl
Desert Train, Thankd so much to you and Charlie. I was goig to make one out of a childs sweater but decided instead to order one and copy the pattern or improve on it. It has been shipped and should be here any day. If you have a Hancock Fabric Store near you they have a very soft fabric that they use to make throws out of. It's not heavy but does not fray so you can cut it and not have to hem it. It is in every color and on sale right now. 36 inches wide and 75% off. A$1.99 a yard. I bought two yards to put on my couch to protect it from the dog. I had bought a throw out of the same fabric from Dr. Fosters and Smith for my couch and it was like $40.00. They also have a tremendous dollar store next to it and you can find a lot of things for bird toys.


Originally Posted By: Desertrain
Katy girl, I will be very interested in hearing how the feather protector works for you that you ordered. I got ideas to add to the pattern I got from Kim/Lily. (again a big thanks for that pattern Kim Lily) With that t-shirt the ties were easy to, (although I think it is asking a lot of a feathered creature to allow one to tie something up around the neck and then under the wings and then to also tie a strip of material up between the legs and still keep a gentle look in their beautiful eyes------ She does not mind at all. She acts like this is normal stuff.)manipulate with the little Umbrella's stiff wings that do not open fully. Bless her. We do gentle stretching exerciese daily and I know it helps her by the look in her eyes.

I want to add that I am so grateful for this site. I could never have provided for the sweet, gentle, crazy, wild things that share my home were it not for the information and support provided by the people who share such valuable information.
When I see a sad unfortunate Too offered up for sale on craigslist ( and this is the only reason I check that place), I contact them and encourage them to educate themselves with this site----------I add some other words depending on the individual ------like the guy who thinks now that his Too has reached the age of twelve she is ready for breeding!-------sorry got lost there.
Anyway the bottom line is the care of these wonderful creatures.



Everyone feel free to contribute with your experiences and ideas!
_________________________
Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~


Project Perry, Inc., The Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary
Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress

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#192653 - 02/10/09 12:02 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: EchosMom]
katy girl Offline
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What did you use for the feathers? She is so cute preeming them. I'm hoping my package comes today. I tried it with the ties but couldn't get it to work. I just hopes this works and she doesn't try to take it off.

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#192709 - 02/10/09 05:11 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: katy girl]
EchosMom Offline

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For Noelle's dresses I use the sleeve of a women's medium or large sweatshirt. The sleeve is cut 6" from the bottom of the cuff. I position the sleeve so that seam runs up the center of one side, which will be the back. Both sides are then evenly cut up to, and just past the cuff - creating a front and back panel. The slits for the legs are cut in the front panel. For Noelle I measure 1 3/4" from the bottom and 2" in from each side and make a 2" slit.

The dress is secured with 3 1/2" of velcro on all for sides. I sew the soft side of the velcro to the inside front panel, starting about 1/2" from the bottom and the rougher side, to the outside of the back panel. This is an important step to remember - velcro inside on the front and outside on the back.

I make a 1/2 moon cut at the bottom of both panels to clear her vent and preen gland.

To put it on, I slip the cuff over her head, pull her legs through the slits, and then secure the front and back panels together w/the velcro under her wings.

Here is a picture of one ready to go: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v232/Echosmom/Sweater001.jpg

This particular one used snap tape, but she was quick to learn that she could pull the snaps out, so I switched to strong velcro. If you look closely you can see the edge of the snap tape on the back (facing down).

This is what it looks like on: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v232/Echosmom/003-5.jpg

Her "feather" dress is made exactly the same way,w/a piece of Silky Fleece fabric just slightly bigger (1/4" ) than the dress itself. I used some Stitch Witch to attach it to the sweatshirt fabric, and then hand-stitched the outside edges. Appearances are very deceiving because this fabric is actually very thin and lightweight. This is a picture of the finished product on: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v232/Echosmom/fuzzy012.jpg. The fleece was not my fabric of choice. I was looking for Eyelash fabric but was not able to find any in the local fabric shops. (I was told it is a seasonal fabric and usually comes into the stores around Halloween time for costume making). I did find some on Ebay, and ordered a yard of each color they had (5). It should arrive in time for her next dress change in about a week.

For anyone that needs the added protection of a breast and/or back plate (Noelle has both) I cut an organic, feminine hygiene pad to size, as well as a piece of sweatshirt fabric just slightly larger. Fleece side up, I use Stitch Witch to attach it to the inside of both panels - just under the cuff. For the front I stop just above the leg openings, just inside where the velcro is secured. For the back, I do the same with the sides, and make the length from the cuff down to about 1/2" above the opening for her preen gland.

She is a very sharp cookie and is learning how to undo the velcro. Luckily, she's not pitching a fit when I zip her back up! On the next dress I am going to sew a strip of the fabric onto the outside back panel where the velcro w/ a 1/2" overhang. Hopefully that will fix that! If not, I may have to re-think things and make adjustments to tie it on. But I am not crossing that bridge until I get to it.

This is a learning curve for me, that's for sure. The one thing I did do is have the first dress put on her at my AV's while she was sedated. I wanted Dr. M's approval and wanted to be sure that it fit right before continuing with the same size and design. It's important that it not be too tight (or too lose) and that there is free wing movement.

ETA: One of our members asked on Noelle's thread if I was concerned about the synthetic materials. The Silky Fleece is polyester and the Eyelash yarn is nylon. My AV has approved the use of both. (Keep in mind that the sweatshirt material is what is against her skin.)


Edited by EchosMom (02/10/09 07:42 PM)
_________________________
Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~


Project Perry, Inc., The Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary
Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress

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#192800 - 02/11/09 07:09 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: EchosMom]
EchosMom Offline

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Originally Posted By: katy girl
I am still waiting for the vest. It seems to take the mail forever. I do hope it comes in tomorrow because I have an appointment Friday at 10;30 with my new vet and I wanted to take it with me. Will keep you all posted on what he says. Since the wings are out they will still be able to chew on them won't they? Coco has started on the tops of her wings and underneath is totally bare.


ETA: A glitch with the silky fleece fabric. It doesn't stretch so if you are going to use it you need to make it larger than the shirt sleeve and sew it evenly at the sides there is extra material in the front. I figured that out the hard way! The eyelash fabric arrived today and it is very lightweight and stretchy. I made Noelle one today, and so far so good. I'm going to give it a few days and see how it holds up, then I'll post a picture. She seems quite pleased with it, and comfortable!


Edited by EchosMom (02/12/09 08:39 PM)
_________________________
Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~


Project Perry, Inc., The Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary
Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress

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#192927 - 02/13/09 03:49 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: EchosMom]
katy girl Offline
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Still haven't gotten vest. I took CoCo in this morning for a checkup with the new vet. I like him a lot better and he is a board certified avian vet so I feel beter about him. They ran all test and I waited for the results of the blood workup. She was fine with everything, her calcium level was fine also. He did suggest the Lupon shot. I really didn't want to give her drugs but I went ahead and she got one. He said 1 shot may work and if not she needs to get another in a month. Hopefully it will help her. He thought the vest idea was good. I'll keep you posted on the lupon and the vest. Ann

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#192933 - 02/13/09 05:57 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: katy girl]
EchosMom Offline

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Dang! It's too bad that the vest didn't arrive before your visit. Do you have someone at home to help you put it on the first time (or few) if need be? I know that until we got the swing of it, my daughters two other hands were invaluable!!

I posted an article about Lupron in the General Cockatoo Discussion forum I think is very informative. Hang in there!
_________________________
Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~


Project Perry, Inc., The Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary
Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress

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#192976 - 02/14/09 12:42 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: EchosMom]
katy girl Offline
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Yes my daughter can help me put it on. He said I should see some improvement in her in about 5 to 7 days. She is really good when you try something new. She was great with the vet but they usually are when they are somewhere else. I also took Bobbi in for a checkup since his beak has been flaking some and one wing had not grown out like the other and he was falling if he tried to fly. He tested find also but was not as good a patient. He tried to fly and got a little cut riight at the top of his head. They put some medicine on it and you hardly notice it today. Next time I will only take in one at a time. My daughter did go with me but when I got the bill it threw me for a loop. The other vet I have been using was much cheaper. That quote, if you can't afford going to the vet, you shouldn't have a bird. Hopefully the vest will come today. I am getting ready to read the lupon article. Keep you posted.

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#192992 - 02/14/09 05:19 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: katy girl]
katy girl Offline
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EM Well the vest finally came and it is a pile of crap. Very poorly made and this is the size for a Goffin or Tinmeh but it didn't even cover her chest. It opens down the back with velcro. Two open places on each side for the wings and a small piece of elastic that goes over each wing that I know would drive her crazy. There is nothing to put legs through,just this piece of fabric with elastic and velcro on back. I put it on her with no problem and it didn't even cover her chest. She did not like it at all. Monday it goes back. Also they charged me $8.00 to mail it and the postage on package was a $1.24. What a rip off. I am going to go for the kind you made and I did find some eyelash yarn. I do knit so I can knit up something to put on front and back.

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#192996 - 02/14/09 06:28 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: katy girl]
whitewings56 Offline
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Hi EchosMom,
I saw the vest you made for Noelle, very interesting. I had made a vest using velcro but the the fellow liked chewing it so I had to think of something different so that is why it has the strips to tie,and strangly he hasn't chewed it. Before getting to that I experimented some different types of vest.

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#193032 - 02/15/09 12:45 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: whitewings56]
EchosMom Offline

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KG, I paid $15 to download instructions for the "Sock Buddy" and after looking at it over and over, my final conclusion was "Yeah right!!" I've also seen some other ideas online that I walked away with the same conclusion.

WW56, the velcro is no longer a viable option for Noelle. Not only has she learned exactly where it is, but how to unzip it as quickly as I can hook it back up. Plus, because she has no feathers on her body or upper wings, even though the velcro did not touch her skin, the "ridge" alone was rubbing "hot spots".

My mom, who is a great seamstress came up with a design unlike any I have seen - using ties. She has had it on for over 24 hours now and so far so good. If it continues to work (which I think it will), when I take it off of her I will post pictures and instructions. smile
_________________________
Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~


Project Perry, Inc., The Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary
Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress

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#193034 - 02/15/09 01:36 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: EchosMom]
katy girl Offline
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EM, please be sure to post. I have been going through clothes with cuffs and was just getting ready to cut one up and see what I could do. I will wait for your post. Thanks. Ann

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#193036 - 02/15/09 01:52 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: katy girl]
GoosesMom Offline
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Hey guys,

Goose (U2) has been wearing a sock buddy for about 2 years and I've had no problems with it. It is more difficult to get on than all your home-made designs, but it's also impossible for the bird to get it off (although they might shred the material).

Now if someone can come up with a design for little "leg warmers" or "pants" to keep her from picking at her legs I'll be set!
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#193037 - 02/15/09 01:53 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: katy girl]
EchosMom Offline

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KG, you can always start with the velcro or snap tape and see how it goes. Coco may not take exception to it the way Noelle did - and it did take her a couple of weeks to figure it out. The dress that Noelle has on now that ties, is still the basic sweatshirt sleeve cut exactly the same way.

I planned on taking pictures of it yesterday before I put it on her, but unfortunately I didn't plan far enough ahead and when I went to take the pictures, the battery in the camera was dead.

ETA: GM, I am sure with a cooperative bird the Sock Buddy is great and I'm sure I could get one on Echo w/out much difficulty. My challenge with Noelle is because I have just adopted her, so trust was/is just being built. I actually did make a dress with leggings, but my AV didn't feel that she needed them because she wasn't mutilating her legs - they were just irritated. So I don't know if how I made them would have worked or not. I used a piece of sweatshirt material, cut twice the width of the leg slits, sewed the sides together, then stitched them into the leg openings.


Edited by EchosMom (02/15/09 02:18 PM)
_________________________
Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~


Project Perry, Inc., The Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary
Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress

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#193059 - 02/15/09 05:43 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: EchosMom]
whitewings56 Offline
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Registered: 10/07/04
Posts: 205
Loc: rome, Italy
Hi EchosMom,
I had the same problem with the velcro and actually even the the others liked chewing it so I had to give up the idea. You just have to experiment a few things see the reaction then think up something else until somehow you find a solution.

Katy girl if you awant some ideas then go to my website: www.tuneup.it/show.htm click on the sign "cockatoos and then go to the last pictures and you will find the vest I made.

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#193104 - 02/16/09 11:32 AM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: whitewings56]
katy girl Offline
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Whitewings, your birds are beautiful. I did look at the picture. I am going to get something worked out.
EM I did knit a vest out of the eyelash yarn. I am going to sew it to whatever I use as a vest. I found some velvet ribbon in a drawer that I must have had for years and plan on using it for ties instead of the velcro. She has pulled off all the velcro that is her cover at night so it probably wouldn't work. The velvet ribbon is real soft. I think she will probably destroy the eyelash first but it is funny. Looks like a bunch of feathers. I made it large enough to go around the whole vest. I have an oncology appointment today so will have to wait until tonight to make it and will get my daughter to help me tomorrow. Will let you all know how it comes out. Thanks all for you help. Ann

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#193143 - 02/16/09 02:59 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: katy girl]
Desertrain Offline
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Loc: Arizona
katy girl, so surprised that the sweater protector was "a pile of crap". That company makes really excellent quality "flight suits" that last for years. They have a phone number to contact too. Just curious which you ordered?
For the Toos I've helped with mutilation problems that simple t-shirt has been the ticket. I only use cotton. There are so many kinds of textures and weights in cotton for all uses. The season dictates the type of cotton I use.
The t-shirt can be adapted with a high collar for neck protection, which I did in the beginning. And I make the t-shirt to fit covering her chest completely.
I was lucky that we did not have to take the risk of using anesthesia while administering to that mutlilated chest. We were also lucky not to have to bandage the area which facilitated to her quick healing with the use of the collars allowing the area to be open to air.
So very interested in all the creativity being featured here. I have to keep things so very simple for my use.

It is also very interesting the different perspectives taken regarding the "mutilation protector", which is how I view the t-shirt rather than "the sweater".
The last thing I wanted and still want is for the t-shirt to become an item of interest. I use it for protection for her chest and back. And thus far she has not gone after it. If she wanted to she could shred the t-shirt to shreds in a heart beat. Occasionally, if she is having one of her moody days I will see her take a swipe at her t-shirt covered chest and then she moves on to other tasks. When I see her take one of those swipes at her chest I put extra effort into finding her something active to do to keep her mind busy. It is always a challenge to keep things interesting for her very intelligent mind but I work at it continually.
When I change the t-shirt it is done quickly and with no fan fare.
One of the theories regarding mutilation is that it sets off a release of endorphines and comforts them from their misery. Sort of the same as the theory regarding "cutters". It is such a complex subject.
I guess I've changed the subject from "sweater" making to "mutilation" but really that has been the subject of my entries regarding "t-shirt making".


Edited by EchosMom (02/16/09 04:31 PM)
Edit Reason: combined back to back post

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#193215 - 02/17/09 12:51 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: Desertrain]
katy girl Offline
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Loc: Katy, Texas
Desert Train, I ordered the one for feather pluckers. It was the wide size. It was 3" long and 4" wide. They said it ws for Goffins, African Greys and Pigeons. It didn't begin to cover her breast plus it had little tiny elastic strips that went over her wings. This would have driven her crazy because hey were so tight. I am in the process of making her one. Thanks anyway.

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#193299 - 02/18/09 12:29 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: EchosMom]
katy girl Offline
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EM, I made 2 vest yesterday. I used one with velcro and the other with ties. Yhe first I made like yours where I put her head through the cuff and used velcro. The second I made like Kim's. I had no problem putting them on by myself. She was very good. She had her feet out of the slits in about 5 minutes and it took about 30 minutes to undo the velcro. On the one with ties it tood a little longer, she had fun picking the knots out of the ties. I don't think either one is going to work. What is a sock buddy? Also the lupron seems to be working as far as the hormonal activities are concerned. Maybe it will help with the plucking also. I did knit the eyelash vest but did not add it to the other vest. I figured it would be pulled to shreds in a mater of minutess.

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#193306 - 02/18/09 01:36 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: katy girl]
EchosMom Offline

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KG, so far Noelle has not made it out of the one that ties - but it is only 1 tie. We (my mom and I) only made one this way to see how it worked before making more. Tomorrow I am going to make another, which only had a minor adjustment and I will take pictures of the added features. My mom will then take it home with her on Friday to machine sew it, and I will take pictures of the finished product, then post pictures of everything together. I have no doubt that the eyelash material alone would be shredded quickly. My mom is machine sewing it ontop of the sweatshirt sleeve. I don't see just the eyelash yarn or fabric staying on by itself for any length of time!!

Is Coco mutilating or causing her skin to bleed?? If it weren't for Noelle's mutilating I wouldn't be outfitting her at all - but that's just my own personal preference.
_________________________
Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~


Project Perry, Inc., The Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary
Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress

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#193308 - 02/18/09 01:48 PM Re: Sweater Making Ideas/Exchange [Re: EchosMom]
katy girl Offline
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Registered: 01/08/03
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Loc: Katy, Texas
EM, no she is not mutilating herself. Her chest has a little fuzz on it, under her wings is completely bare and she has started pulling the feathers on her back. I was going to sew the eyelash vest on the other vest. I do have a sewing machine and can sew a little. I,m not worried how she looks, I'm just worried that one day she will start mutilating. I never see her doing it so it must be at night.

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