With a little bit of practice, attaching a zipper to a pillow could be a pretty fast process. I usually use 'invisible' zippers that are nicely tucked in once attached, so it's barely visible once the pillow is completed. Zippers keeps the pillow nicely enclosed without the worry of a flap or other enclosure types.
Here's my method for attachment a zipper to a pillow top:
Use this method after pillow top is completed (quilting etc). The pillow bottom should be of the same dimensions.
- Face pillow top and pillow bottom, right side together (wrong side facing out).
- Stitch long stitches (I use setting 5 on the sewing machine) with 1/3" seam allowance against one side
- Press open the seam
- Lay the pressed seam open and move the pillow top and bottom to the left side
- Pin down right side of the zipper and attach to the open right side seam made in the previous step and sew down as closely as possible to the zipper teeth. If the zipper grip is in the way, go ahead and unzip to move it out of the way. Double stitch zipper to make sure it's on extra tight :).
- Move the pillow top and bottom to the right side of the open seam, and attach the left side of the zipper to the left side of the open seam. Double sew as closely to the zipper teeth as possible.
- Once zipper is securely sewn on both seams open up the pillow top and bottom and face right side up.
- Take a seam ripper and remove the stitches about an inch from each end where the zipper is.
- Fold the pillow top and bottom back on top of each other with wrong sides together, and stitch back and forth on each end of the zipper. This will secure each the ends of the zipper to the pillow top and bottom.