In the past I have been known to get myself into a real bother by confusing different parts of a pattern once they have been cut out. You convince yourself you will remember what it is but when you have heaps of pieces looking very similar it is easy to get confused. The solution is to make labels for all your different pieces. I got the idea from when I made the Activity Go Case. As part of the PDF pattern you were provided with a page of labels to cut up and pin to the different pieces. It was a brilliant idea! In that pattern there was a lot of very similar size rectangles so without labels you would easily pick up the wrong piece.
If a pattern doesn’t have labels to cut up it is easy to make your own on the computer by opening up a word processing program such as Microsoft Word and inserting a table. You only need to select a couple of rows and columns to start with. Referring to your pattern you just type up a label for each piece. I’m currently in the process of making a toy with 21 pieces in it, without the labels I would have been lost as to what all the pieces were.
You can make your labels as big or as small as you like by changing your font size. I print my labels out on scrap paper. I save scrap paper from my work to print out stuff at home. Some things you can’t print on scrap paper but labels are defiantly something you can. I don’t save my labels on the computer once I have printed them instead I print 2 copies, one copy I leave intact with the rest of the pattern instructions the other copy I cut up and use. If I want to make the same item again I can always photocopy my intact copy.
If you have never made labels before I hope you do try it sometime. They aren’t necessary for all projects but on projects with a lot of pieces or similar looking pieces they are sew helpful.