Beyond fabric, pins, scissors, thread and a sewing machine, what tools are necessary for doll sewing success?
The tools I list here are ones I consider essentials; I use most of them every time I sew a toy. They sit neatly on my sewing table so they're always at hand. While you can get by with less, most of these are inexpensive and make doll sewing much simpler. If you don't already use all of them, why not give them a try?
1. A variety of turning tools:
Druitz turning tubes, great for turning arms and legs, available at JoAnn Crafts and online;
A wooden dowel for stuffing, often included in bags of Polyfil;
Japanese cooking chopsticks - really long, made of plastic, they are good for turning pointy ears, arms and legs;
A pencil with an eraser - the eraser end is useful for stuffing tiny bits of polyfill into narrow spaces.
2. A bobbin case filled with pre-loaded bobbins in my most used colors. I have a few empty bobbins as well but most of my doll sewing works within the colors in this case as well as white, which is currently in my sewing machine.
3. Seam ripper, something I use often and replace whenever it dulls.
4. Hemostat, for turning corners and tight spaces right side out and stuffing little spaces. You can find them online in shops like this one.
5. A variety of craft needles for embroidery and sewing the toy closed. I like the little case that keeps them separated so I can spot the type I need quickly.
6. Needle threader. This heavy duty plastic one lasts a lot longer than the foil ones.
7. Snips. Tiny sharp scissors, this pair is by Martha Stewart.
8. Chewing gum. Sewing can be stressful and sometimes I'm not sure if the toy will turn out the way I want it to. Chewing helps me work off the anxiety while forging ahead.
Do you have any tools you simply can't sew without?