The possibilities and combinations for this style of cafe curtain is limited only by our imaginations.
The basic concept – curtain with a cuff/flap and accented with a small ruffle – can be customized by the length, with trim, double ruffles, a tiny flange and more!
Today’s tutorial shows the steps for a sheer curtain but the concept can be altered to accommodate a lined curtain as well.
One of my favorite aspects of this particular curtain, which I made several years ago for a client, is the whimsical combination of fabrics. Sadly the brown sheer and green floral are no longer available but can easily be substituted with fabrics of your choice.
A Few Measurements to Keep in Mind
- the finished width of this curtain (whether one panel or two) should measure 2 times the width of the window/rod
- most cuffs/flaps measure 6″-9″ long based on the length of the curtain and whatever I think looks best
- ruffles average 1.5″-2″ long and are gathered at 2 times fullness
- I like to install cafe curtains at 2/3rds to 3/4th the height of the window
The first step is to make the cuff. In this case the cuff is 6″ long and ruffle is 2″.
- cut ruffle 5″ high x correct width for your project
- cut cuff 7″ high x correct width for your project plus 3-4″ for side hems
- cut lining 7″ high
Because the sheer curtain portion of this window treatment is dark brown I used a solid brown lining for the cuff. Here you can see the back side of the cuff including the a 1″ side hems.
This specific brown sheer (no longer available) has a lovely scalloped side edge detail that we definitely wanted to incorporate into the design. Normally you would hem both sides of your sheer fabric with a double 1″-1.5″ side hem.
*I used an a very small lower edge hem for this curtain for a couple of reasons.
Normally, I make a 3-4″ double hem for ALL of my window treatments…sheers and lined curtains…but as you can tell, when this fabric is doubled it’s quite a bit darker. I didn’t like this look for a 4″ hem. Since this was a relatively short curtain for a small bathroom window I felt the smaller hem a better choice so as not to detract from the fabric.
Pin the cafe sheer and cuff together along the upper edge of curtain making sure the right side/front side of each piece is facing up. In other words, pin the front side of the cafe curtain to the back side of the cuff.
Due to the fact we were using the entire width of the sheer with it’s decorative scalloped edge, the sheer was wider than the cuff. I gathered the sheer to fit the width of the cuff.
*The technique of using more fabric and gathering the cafe curtain to fit the cuff can be used regardless of whether it is a necessity or not. This is a really cute detail that gives the cafe more fullness.
Stitch the gathered cafe curtain to the cuff using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
I used the same solid brown lining fabric for my facing.
Cut a 3.5″ strip of facing slightly wider than the cuff. Iron under a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Pin facing and cuff together – Right Sides Together.
Stitch facing to cuff using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Iron facing seam flat…
then fold to back side of cafe curtain and iron again.
Open cuff and wrap facing side hem around cafe curtain.
Pin in place.
Position gathers along facing and pin in place.
Stitch facing to cafe sheer.
Making sure to stitch side hem of facing in place.
And of course use your handy clothes pins to “train” the droops.
This is only one method of finishing the hems for a cafe curtain.
The facing can be avoided by adding 4″ to both your cafe curtain and cuff and folding this length over along the upper edge for a double 2″ top hem.
I like to use the method I shared today to incorporate a contrasting fabric within the droops.
This tutorial shows you how to add fabric ties to a cafe curtain to use instead of rings.
While the brown sheer and green floral are both discontinued, similar red leopard fabrics can be found by Googling – red leopard fabric, red leopard home decor fabric, red cheetah fabric, etc.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask below. I’ll be sure to reply within the comments as well!