At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hi Isaac,....

Sunday Isaac wore this blue polo shirt to church.

We are still new to our new church, but at the door the greeter said, "Hi Isaac! Glad to see you!"

At the children's check in desk the two women working the computer scanners both exclaimed, "Hi Isaac! We're so glad you're with us today!

On the way to Isaac's class, the security guard at the children's department said, "Hi Isaac, how are you doing buddy?"

The teen helpers at the preschool class were both at the door and they both said, "Hi Isaac!"

The teacher in the preschool class said, "Hi Isaac, I am glad you're here for class today."

Now,...I am sure all these kind individuals would have spoken to Isaac - regardless of him having his name on his shirt,....BUT having them address Isaac by name - has to be reinforcing to his identity and THAT has to be a good thing.

Note:  with apraxia,...Isaac is considered nonverbal, his spoken vocabulary is very limited: i.e. he cannot say his name,...thus the importance.

The little blue polo with the embroidered monogram is pricy - about $10.00 per monogram, plus the cost of the shirt. Thank you for Auntie and Granny for gifting these Sunday shirts to Isaac,...he has three: white, yellow and blue. 

However for everyday I've been experimenting with various techniques: 
1: Iron on monograms - were cute, but the colors would bleed and they un-stuck too easily after several washings. 
2: Sharpie fabric pens, I made one shirt for Isaac, looked cute, and was soooo easy but the colors faded badly in the wash. 
3: Silk Screen printing with screens made with Modge Podge - disaster,...the ink and paints bled, was frankly a mess and waste of time because it was tedious to make the screens. 

Freezer Paper to the rescue or it is also referred to as Butcher Paper, I purchased: Reynolds brand.

The idea is to cut out stencils from the freezer paper.
Iron on the stencils to the shirt
Paint in the stencils
Peel off the stencil and wear.

At first, I used my computer to print Isaac's name in various fonts the size I wanted. I taped these over the freezer paper and would use an exact-o knife to cut out the stencil,...and EXACTING and tedious process, ISAAC would take twenty minutes,...and be adequate but not completely a clean cut.

Embroidery machines are expensive and I knew better to broach the subject with my husband,..especially when we have so much therapy to pay for out of pocket,...but I did research die cutting machines,...and while they are not cheap,...they are cheaper than the cheapest embroider machine and very versatile. Mother's Day gifted such a machine to my arsenal. Mine is a Silhouette Cameo and it needs no die-cut cartilages. As I have design skills, I am only limited by my imagination and what computer time I can find to make designs for Isaac. For those not versed in design - Silhouette does have tons of die cuts that are only .99 cents each,..also you can use fonts from your own computer.  

Here are fonts that I picked out ISAAC and had the die cut machine cut out, took like 30 seconds!

I can use both positive and negative space,...but for this project I used the stencil.

Carefully peeled off the sticky mat,...I ironed on the stencil to the shirts,....note: I am careful to keep the tiny circles for the letter A,...these are also ironed on. 

I used fabric paint and to get the tones and values I want, I mix the colors like adding a little green or gray to make the blues the exact tones I wanted for each shirt. It takes about three layers of paint,...letting the paint dry between each layer to build up the color enough to pop. Then I carefully peel the stencil from the shirt. 

On vacation with a little time on our hands,...I've been on Pinterest hunting for ideas and I saw some really interesting galaxy shirts and had to give it a try. Here are the results. The ISAAC in the rocket ship glows in the dark,...sooo cool. 

I posted a DIY tutorial for these galaxy shirts on one of my another blogs: Functional Fashion,...oh yes, I have more than one,...but doesn't most bloggers?

In retrospect making these shirts, blogging has been therapeutic for me,...I am doing something creative and productive that I know will help my little guy. 

Making these shirts has been a nice break,...and when working on these projects, I sneaked in some  therapy too because Isaac helped me peel away the stencils and it was fun to talk about what we were doing as we worked on a project together. 

Besides, yesterday with all the "Hi Isaac's" - I feel like I am on the right track. It was such a positive experience for Isaac and me.

Note: While researching monograming a child's clothing - I did come across many post that caution against the practice and I completely respect and understand those parents concerns,...however for us with a nonverbal child,...the security risk is greater without Isaac being identified. There are also temporary tattoos for contact information,...which we will most certainly use in the future when we are at large events,...such as a race or an amusement park where there is a theoretical chance of us being separated. 

For the future,...I've lots of planning to do,...lots of telephone calls and emails to make as we incorporate Isaac's autistic diagnosis into our therapy plans,...and lots more shirts to design for my little guy,...and big guys too,...they want a galaxy shirt as well,...just not with a glow in the dark rocket. 

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!


  1. What a cool idea!

    My younger son has Apraxia as well. He has made so much progress with his new communication iPad and Go Talk Now.


    P.S. You have a new follower! :-)

  2. Thanks Julie for being my very first follower, is comforting to know we're not alone on this perplexing apraxia path,...and that others are making so much progress with tools and technology.

    We're only a year and half in, still lots to learn for Isaac and me.

    Have a blessed day!


    1. Apraxia IS perplexing! He parrots so much, but it isn't what he means. Drives me nuts on occasion. Feel free to e-mail me with direct questions ( or find me on Google+ or FB. :-)
      Life with the Spectrum

  3. What a great idea! I'm sure he is enjoying his awesome shirts and how great that you get a creative outlet like this :)


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