Measuring and Fractions (making sense of parts list measurements)
tape measure   A tape measure is a handy measuring tool. It is easy to use and gives consistent information. School rulers and yardsticks do not reliably measure from the end... there is a small space between the end and the "0" mark which gives un-reliable results
close-up of tape measure  

American measurements are in inches, and fractions of an inch such as halfs, quarters, and eighths. The smallest measurement on this tape measure is 1/16" (one sixteenth of an inch").
Dollhouse measurements are occasionally given in 1/32" (one thirtysecond of an inch"), which is half of a sixteenth

Click here for more information on measuring fractions

measuring a part  
This part is 9" long
and 2 1/2" wide
It would be listed in a parts list as 9" x 2 1/2" (and called "nine inches by two-and-one-half inches")
This part is 7 1/4" long
2 21/32 wide and mitered
It would be listed as 7 1/4" x 2 21/32", mitered
(and called "seven and one-quarter inches by two and twenty-one thirty-second inches")

This part is 3/4" wide and Beveled
it is 9 7/32" long
It would be listed as 9 7/32 x 3/4, beveled
(and called "nine and seven thirty-seconds by three-quarters, beveled")