Thanks for your suggestions about my hair - I appreciate all of your thoughts and ideas. I suspect that I'm having a systemic reaction to the dye that shows up under the patches. The patches work by administering the painkiller via the patch adhesive - and of course I'm sensitive to adhesives. I think having the constant exposure to the adhesives might sensitize my system and the dye overwhelms the skin already burdened by the patches.
I will keep your suggestions in mind and maybe give them a try - having the rash once or twice more while trying to prevent it probably won't do me too much damage.
Today, for the first time in ages - since before the vacation - I actually did some pattern work. My work area is a little untidy and I've been lazy so I decided to work with a contemporary pattern. A contemporary pattern needs less work from me because I don't have to trace it out or grade it. I want to have easy, casual dresses that I can just throw on when I'm bumming around the house or if I want to go out or something.
I chose Simplicity 3503 (view E with the long skirt and neckband, to start). I know the picture looks sort of weird but the reviews on patternreview were generally positive, aside from the pocket placement and that ir runs big. The pattern doesn't actually run that big, with only one inch of ease at the bust - this is perfectly reasonable, even though it's for a knit pattern, given that there are gathers there. I think one problem is that the midriff band doesn't hug the midriff, which it should, so the dress feels big. Another problem might be using fabrics that are too stretchy so they hang down too much. All knits are not created equally.
I ended up cutting the midriff a size or so smaller so that it will fit more snugly, but I left the rest of the pattern alone except for the standard length changes I have to make. Well, I changed the back a little bit, too, so that my bra strap won't show. I hope it works out; if the midriff is still too big I can easily fix it. Since it'll be the first time I'm going to use the pattern, I'll baste the seams together before serging them. I think I'll also put darts instead of gathers in the back, as per some reviews on patternreview, to make it slightly more flattering.
I've already decided that I'll make this dress out of this fabric that I bought from Gorgeous Fabrics a while ago, with a navy blue jersey for the neck and midriff bands. I thought about using the patterned fabric for the neck and midriff, but after looking at the pictures in the reviews I decided that the contrast midriff and neckband would be much better. I am going to do a long dress and if I don't like it (now or later), I can chop it off.
I think this is an easy dress and shouldn't take too long to put together. If that's true and it looks nice, then I can make more of these with the different tops. If it does work then I might think about modifying the pattern somehow to use woven fabrics with elastic or a self-belt or something. We'll see - I'll take this one step at a time, starting with the dress I'm going to work on tomorrow while getting my Pamidronate.