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Measuring Tape Cheat Card

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Don’t laugh. This next printable in our Cheat Card series is based on one of our most popular articles. Really! If you’ve been sewing forever, and work with fractions every day, it may seem crazy to you that someone wouldn’t know how to read a measuring tape. But if you step back for a moment, and look at that tape measure (or ruler for that matter) with the eyes of a new sewer, all those little unidentified marks might seem a bit intimidating. As one of our original commenters said, “Thank you so much for sharing this. I am definitely the kind of person who was too scared to ask a dumb question! You’ve made my life so much easier!” 

There are two measuring charts below: one shows an eighth inch breakdown and the other goes all the way down to sixteenths. Each chart is available in three different backgrounds. 

Our Measuring Tape Cheat Card is the size of a standard business card: 2” wide x 3½” high. It’s small enough to tuck into your wallet or tack up on the bulletin board in your sewing room.

All six designs print out on one 8½” x 11” sheet of paper from which you can cut out the cards. You may want to print on a heavier card stock (80 to 100lb cover is a good option) or print on regular paper then glue that lighter weight sheet to a stiff backing material prior to cutting. There are crop marks on each card to help you get a perfect slice. 

This is the second installment in our Cheat Card series. You may also want to print out the Yardage Conversion Cheat Cards. In both cases, the cards are set-up on the same variety of pretty backgrounds. Pick your favorite design and build a set, or cut them all out to share with your sewing friends. 

Is there a cheat or hack you’d like to have as a handy card? Leave us a comment below and we’ll add it to our list. 

The Measuring Tape Cheat Card is available here as a .PDF file. Click the image below to download. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a free program. We’ve minimized the file size, but still, please be patient with the download process.



Comments (30)

Anonymous said:
Anonymous's picture

I'm sending these up the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation .  I belong to a group called Sew For Kids Volunteers.  They can use these with sewing machines and books and supplies we send up there.Thanks

Virginia Willis said:
Virginia Willis 's picture

I want to copy an older batiste blouse with narrow pleats.  How do I order your cheat sheet.  Do books on French sewing have instructions for narrow pleats?  I can't find any on your site.       I'm new to your site.   


Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Virginia - Welcome to the site! Regarding the Cheat Card - you do not need to order it. It is set up as a free download to print yourself. All the instructions are given above for how to do this. In regards to the pleats, I've added links below to our Knife Pleats and Heirloom Sewing tutorials, which will provide you with some good information. We don't really have any specific information on French sewing books. That would probably be something you'd want to research online.

Kathleen Ann said:
Kathleen Ann's picture

Love this cheater card series! And you've made them so pretty too! I'm looking forward to others.

Meg Nelson said:
Meg Nelson's picture

I know all of the measurements, but very good for people who do not.  And it's cute!

Betty Anne said:
Betty Anne's picture

This is a good idea but I was expecting it to be to scale...Then you could put it under the presser foot to measure  your stitch width.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Betty Anne - thanks! The goal of this Cheat Card is for identification, so we needed to make it larger than life in order to be sure the measurements could be clearly visualized. Your idea of something that could be used similarly to a seam guage is an interesting one. We'll put it on our You Asked 4 It list. 

Sally Walter said:
Sally Walter's picture

Thank you!!!  I love the Yardge Conversion Card and look forward to adding this one, too!  So cute and useful!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Sally - You are welcome. We're having fun coming up with these handy tools.

Sandee Kustermann said:
Sandee Kustermann's picture

i would also like a cheat card for the metric system. I skip making things when only those measurements are given, because it takes so long to look up every one.  Thank you

Carolynanne said:
Carolynanne's picture

What a great idea , I could never understand the markings on a measuring tape , I always asked my son where is 7/8 of an inch etc on the tape , and I was still confused.Now I can see it for myself ,thank you 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Carolynanne - we're glad to help you figure it out.

kathntn said:

If you had just added the decimals to the fractions, this card would have been SO much more useful and way prettier than the post-it on my wall! 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@kathntn - sorry you have to rely on your post it 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@MDy - You're welcome! It's always nice to have some little handy helpers.

Anoymous said:
Anoymous's picture

Thanks so much for this. Can you now please do it in metric for your Canadian and European and Australian ( pretty much everywhere else in the world) followers??  thx

Lori M. said:
Lori M.'s picture

Thank you for the Cheat Sheets...I used the Yardage set as Gift Tags for a sewing friend...She just loved them....

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Lori - You're welcome - they are design to be handy -- and loved

Annie Dee said:
Annie Dee's picture

YAAAAY!  THANK YOU.  Love these very much.  Printing now.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Annie - You are very welcome!

DebS said:
DebS's picture

Already printed and firing up my laminator as I type. I use the conversion chart quite a bit, so I'm sure this will come in just as handy. Fits perfectly in my purse. Thanks again, Sew4Home, for another great tool!

Kay said:
Kay 's picture

I can't print the page. I've even saved it to a file and tried to print and get an error everytime. Any suggestions?


Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Kay - make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. On some systems, there is also an option in your print window (might be under either the general or advanced tab) that must be clicked: "print as image". You can also try saving the file first to your computer and then opening to print. It is a larger file - thanks to all those lovely colors - so the spooling to your printer might take a few minutes. On some systems, it might even take a couple minutes for the full print print preview to pop up. We have tested the printing many times and it is delivering correctly from the server. Please try again when you can - it might just mean waiting a bit longer.

Anonymous said:
Anonymous's picture

Thank you so much!  My son is learning measurements in school and I was trying to show him what each of the lines represents but I could tell it wasn't making sense to him.  I should have thought about something like this.  Perfect!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

It's a great place to start and we always hear from so many people who have been, "afraid to ask."

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