Different-sized needles are required depending on techniques being used, and some needles are quite special! I use needles from brands like Dritz, Clover, Richard Hemming & Son, and John James. Here are my favorites:
- Gold eye applique needles size 12 – for super small details
- Embroidery needles size 3/9 – for sewing parts together and general needs
- John James long darners size 9 and 7 – for needle sculpting cloth doll faces
- Long dollmakers’ needles – for jointing. Dollmakers’ needles come in sizes from 2.5 to 5″. I use the long ones most, but it’s handy to have all sizes on hand.
- Curved beading needles – for attaching the head to the neck
- Beading needles – for beading
The thread I choose is based on both color and quality. Using top-quality thread is important to me because I want my sewing machine to prosper. The fibers of cheaper threads tend to fray and accumulate inside the machine.
I like polyester thread because it is stronger than 100% cotton, but I do use pure cotton too. My favorites are:
- Mettler metrosene polyester (no. 645 is a beautiful flesh color)
- Mettler silk finish
- Gutterman sew-all polyester
These threads are fine for needle sculpting, as are the 100% cotton threads from the same brands. For jointing, I don’t concern myself about the highest quality since my sewing machine is not involved. I like Dual Duty button & craft, Coats & Clark, or any strong thread (preferably in a light pink).