I hate to hand sew. I'll put a zipper in anything I can to avoid hand-closing a seam! I recently heard of a special hand sewing thread recently and decided to try it to see if it would make the chore easier.
The thread is called Rice Silamide hand sewing thread. It is coated to keep it from knotting and allow it to pull easily through the fabric. It is also stronger than sewing machine thread and is less likely to break when under strain. I have to admit, it has made hand closing pillows much easier and less frustrating! If you haven't heard of or tried this product I would recommend that you give it a go. It is available for order online, have not seen it in my local stores, but maybe you will find it at your favorite sewing supplier.