basic tools & techinques
If you're going to do some hand sewing, you need needles and thread. Have you ever gone to the fabric store and seen the selection? It can be overwhelming. I am no expert by any means, but when I've worked on hand sewing knits, the needles I use are sharps (I believe Natalie Chanin talks about this in the Alabama Stitch book). On my first skirt, I did experiment with other needles, such as craft needles and embroidery needles, because that's what I had, but the sharps did indeed work the best. If you are working with a woven or some type of project there are other needles best suited for the job. A good article on the subject is at CraftStylish, Know Your (Hand-Sewing) Needles.
I quickly searched for an article on thread with no luck (i'm sure there are some out there, but i didn't have the time to do too much searching!). Personally, I like to use all purpose thread for basic applique and buttonhole thread for seams. I've tried using the buttonhole thread for applique, but I found it to be too stiff, though it does work well for outlining the lines of reverse applique. I use embroidery thread (or floss) for decorative stitches. My best advice is to experiment with what you have on hand to see what works best for you.
In my experience with reverse applique and regular applique, a sharp pair of embroidery scissors are a must. They work great on snipping those tight little corners and crevices and usually make a clean cut on your thread.
The two stitches I've used the most in my hand sewing are the running stitch and the back stitch. I'm currently using a whip stitch to apply an applique to a top I'm working on, but an alternative is a blanket stitch. Below are some links to basic hand stitches along with a hand sewing needle guide:
I know there is a ton more information to share, if you have some helpful links please list them in the comments below. I've turned on threaded comments so that we can have a conversation in the comments.