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Hello and thanks for stopping by! 

I am an avid crocheter and focus my writing
on women in American history.
shares stories about 18 first ladies who had
some connection to needlework.  
My picture book CLAIRE tells the story of
American fashion designer, Claire McCardell.   


Library Bookshelves

This is a fascinating and approachable book that sheds light on a little-known corner
of American history.

 Knitting magazine 

The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum is thankful for the inclusion of Edith in LADIES, FIRST: COMMON THREADS and recommends the book for all to read.
 Farron Smith, Founder
Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace


It’s a real ‘dip in’ book to have
on your coffee table and just open up on any page and read about
a First Lady when you are having your morning latte
or your afternoon tea.

Yorkshire, England

What an imaginative tribute to a visionary force in fashion and
a great inspiration to
young people with dreams!


Marilyn Bagel, President
The Frederick Art Club

Morning Newspaper

People may know basic facts about U.S. First Ladies, but "Ladies, First: Common Threads" is the first biography of its kind to hone in their needlework.

“I read her autobiography, What Shall I Wear (Simon and Schuster, 1956), and then read as many articles as I could find about her. I thought it would make an inspiring story for children, especially girls...."

After reading articles about the designer and her
autobiography, Scala Giokas determined it would be a great
story for children and more.

An ardent crocheter, Debra Scala Giokas yearned to tell yarns about the nation’s first ladies, how they stitched together an army of wartime knitters, built the West Wing, held parties with oyster ice cream and shared needlework patterns with the public.


The museum hosted a virtual book talk with Debra upon the release of LADIES, FIRST....
The book is well-researched, nicely written and beautifully illustrated. What a fun way to learn the history of these amazing First Ladies!

— Bethany Sullivan, Director
James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage  



Contact Debra Scala Giokas 

© 2022 by Debra Scala Giokas. Proudly created with

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