Project Selvage Finalist Profile: Bora

APR 21, 2011 updated May 30, 2016

Bora Circus fun for little one! by Bora, Deborah van de Leijgraaf 

I live in Holland in a small village called Den Hoorn that's very close to Delft, where I was born and raised. Delft is famous for it's blue pottery. I have two kids: a four year old son Doran and a six month old baby girl Leonora.

I designed a wallpaper for the baby’s room during my pregnacy with Leonora. It was so much fun to do…and then I thought it would be awesome to design curtains that match the wallpaper…and then I discovered Spoonflower. Just for fun I entered a Fabric of the Week contest. When I recieved all the lovely comments from the terrific Spoonflower community I really got hooked.

I can't stop searching for inspiration to make new patterns. Now I'm studying the patterns of curtains when I'm visiting friends, or only look at the pattern of the gift wrap paper and not see the present itself. I really enjoy making patterns. Designing brings me a lot of joy!

I illustrate for a living. Most of my jobs are illustrations for educational children books and magazines. Besides illustration jobs I design cards and t shirts and love to sew. So I'm constantly making stuff. At this moment I'm working on a children’s book about a Dutch little girl with a great imagination, with stickers, treats, cards and more.

And my latest sewing project was a little red coat for my daughter: ( If you want to see my latest work please visit my blog ( or my Flickr photostream (

My favorite movie is Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain from Jean-Piere Jeunet…and I love the music in this movie. And my favorite book…I've got so many lovely children’s books. My all time favorites are the books illustrated by Fiep Westerdorp. I read to my son very often the short stories from the book Jip and Janneke by Annie M.G. Schmidt. He enjoys the stories and his mum enjoys the illustrations. IMG_8578

I’ve wanted to make a circus fabric in vintage style for a while now. The circus is full of joy, colour and entertainment. And little children just love animals, that's why i created these cute little characters for them. I challenged myself with a limited colour palette. The primary colours red, blue and yellow give me a circus feeling.

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