Cutting was where I was headded with it. I just wanted to ask the all knowing WWW to see if any one else was smarter than me. I can see cloth in the upper part where all pieces come together but they are sewn in place (could not pull them out with hemostats). Looks like I am going to town with my dremel tool later
I ran into this at first, but there are actually multiple layers there, and it was really a matter of finding the one that wasn't sewn closed, which allowed the spine to lay flat.
Putting the leading edges in was a complete pain, though. I can't fathom how anyone puts together a whole series of those without damaging their thumbs/hands/sanity...