There are borders that run along both sides of the lace. First step is to remove the borders and put aside for later use - that's the easy part. The little threads along the bottom are called "whiskers". Some people want to remove them but it is a signature of Alencon lace and cutting them off weakens the lace. I really like them.
Oops - a furry intruder, Molly is our youngest cat and still very kitten-like. She wants to be in the middle of everything. I'm always feeling that cats think everything we do is for their benefit, or happiness, or pleasure. I'm sure she thought I set this up as a hideout for her - she loves the crinkle sound of the pattern.
I've used a lot of "post-it-notes"; they make this part so much easier. Every piece is marked with a note, several notes, actually. Once the pattern is removed and the piece marked with thread, it's hard to know which is the side seam and other areas I need to identify - can't have too many markings.
As I cut out the pieces, I allow a lot on the side seams for an "over-underlapping" technique to avoid the appearance of seams in the lace. The first time I saw this on the gown my daughter tried on, I lost sleep over it, I couldn't imagine how this was done. After reading and talking to my friend who makes wedding gowns, it makes sense - will explain later on.