RUBBISH Shirt

CW: Death (in the first paragraph)

At the end of 2021, my mom’s spouse abruptly died. It was really tragic and spontaneous. Fortunately, my sibling and I were able to fly out to be with her after it happened. While we were there, I helped my mom go through her entire house top-to-bottom. We purged items that were no longer needed and organized the ones that remained. When we were going through clothes, I asked if I could have this black tee that was a few sizes larger than what I usually wear, cropped, and stained with bleach spots. My mom looked at me like I was crazy due to this ask, but I knew in that moment that I would turn this shirt into the RUBBISH shirt that Janis Ian wears in Mean Girls. RIP to Timothy. Thanks for the shirt! I’m thinking about posting it up in my eBay store so this can live on with another person too.

❤️‍🩹

A 4X black t-shirt that has been cropped a bit at the bottom with bleach spots on the front laid flat on a table.
The shirt as I obtained it.

I’m kind of a lazy DIYer where I skip steps that others might think are necessary…like ironing this shirt. But I’m also pretty detail-oriented with other steps like trying to ensure the letters were straight and evenly spaced.

A 4X black t-shirt that has been cropped a bit at the bottom with bleach spots on the front laid flat on a table. The short sleeves have been tucked underneath and a fabric tape measure is laid out across it widthwise.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to cut the sleeves off or not, so I just tucked them under right away.

I tried to square up the shirt at an even number to help create a grid to chalk out the spacing for the letters.

A 4X black t-shirt that has been cropped a bit at the bottom with bleach spots on the front laid flat on a table. The short sleeves have been tucked underneath and a fabric tape measure is laid out across it widthwise. A yard stick is also across it widthwise with vertical chalk lines between the two. A ruler and a piece of tailor chalk are on the shirt too.
The items I used to mark out the space between the letters.

Originally, I was trying to print a letter template off the internet, but I couldn’t figure out the right sizing for my shirt. I gave up and decided to wing it with some rulers, measuring tape, and tailor’s chalk.

A 4X black t-shirt that has been cropped a bit at the bottom with bleach spots on the front laid flat on a table. The short sleeves have been tucked underneath and a fabric tape measure is laid out across it widthwise towards the top. There is a grid drawn out in white tailor's chalk.
I kind of intentionally made them different sizes so there wouldn’t be a weird gap around the letter I.

I’m glad I remembered to place this up high on the chest instead of centering it on the shirt.

A 4X black t-shirt that has been cropped a bit at the bottom with bleach spots on the front laid flat on a table. The short sleeves have been tucked underneath and a fabric tape measure is laid out across it widthwise towards the top. There is a grid drawn out in white tailor's chalk and the word RUBBISH drawn within the grid. A ruler and white tailor's chalk triangle are on the shirt too.
I was really uncertain about the letter Bs when I saw this stage.

While I would have liked a more stencil-style look for this recreation, I just freehanded it in what I hoped would be a readable font.

A 4X black t-shirt that has been cropped a bit at the bottom with bleach spots on the front laid flat on a table. The short sleeves have been tucked underneath and a fabric tape measure is laid out across it widthwise towards the top. There is a grid drawn out in white tailor's chalk and the word RUBBISH painted in yellow within the grid. A long handled flat paint brush, small glass container with yellow paint in it, and bottle of yellow paint are on the shirt too.
Those Bs turned out ok though!

I used some “Daffodil” yellow multi-surface acrylic paint and a paintbrush I acquired at my last day job. I painted multiple coats until I was happy with it. Then, once the paint was completely dry, I washed and dried the shirt to remove the chalk lines.

An outfit for Janis Ian of Mean Girls comprised of a long sleeve gray shirt with a black shirt with the word RUBBISH in yellow, a knee-length black skirt, black & white striped tights on a dress form mannequin with purple chucks on the ground in front of it.
The outfit for Janis Ian from Mean Girls.

I feel good about how this shirt turned out, and I think it read well for the photo shoot. I ultimately kept the sleeves tucked inside instead of cutting them, so now the next owner can decide whether to keep them or cut them.

A side-by-side comparison of a person dressed up as Janis Ian from Mean Girls in a long sleeve gray shirt under a black tee over it with the word RUBBISH in yellow letters, a black midi skirt, and black & white tights with purple and silver glitter converse all star sneakers holding a pencil next to Lizzy Caplan as Janis Ian from the movie. Words say Mean Girls and Janis Ian.

See more of this shirt in the Mean Girls: Janis Ian post.

Catch me back here next week for another post.

In the meantime, check out Mean Girls Vibes board on Pinterest.

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