February 5, 2013

Pfaff 360 (1960)

Well I really am in to my Pfaffs. Although I had professed my OMG for the 332 when I saw her younger sister I new that was for me. I searched for several months to find a 360 and realized they were hard to come by, so I researched Ebay and got this one for a fair price. I'm not into buying these expensive machines, having them shipped, and hoping they are what I wanted, I prefer to wait for a CL listing but they must not have sold many in Michigan.

I found the SN date on Ismacs.

It has the same mechanics as the 332 but all of the human factors issues have been corrected; it is really the one to have. Forget all of the exotic stitches, all I need are the three levers and three dials. The dials are big, (you can get two fingers and a thumb on each) easy to read, and smooth rotating. The left and right of center is good, not like the 332 that takes two hands and three tries to get it into position.

FYI, I figured out how to fix the yellowed numbers on the 0 - 5 front dial. The dial comes apart fairly easily, take out the numbered disk, scan it at a hi resolution and Photo Shop the UV yellowing out of the scan. After you print it take some clear hard packing tape and cover both sides, then cut it out with an X-ACTO knife. I found it so annoying to have the whole machine cleaned up except for the yellowed numbers.

Since I use a flatbed machine when I need a flatbed I took the Rube Goldberg flatbed conversion parts off and stored them safely away.

It came with the crazy "Circletrol" too or maybe Circle-troll .

I'm afraid I didn't like the low speed fidelity of the Circletrol so I swapped it out for the gas pedal from the 332.

What a great machine, I'm really happy I did my homework and now understand why people pay full price for 360s with all the bells & whistles, they are worth it.

BMW Isetta, 1960: just look at the family resemblance; German is as German does!



  1. I am wanting to learn to sew. I'm a car guy and my work would be related to car upholstery.

    I found a Pfaff 360 in the local used market. Looks like new, but I have no idea if it is up to the task of sewing leather. The little research I have done indicates I will need a machine with a "walking foot" in order to sew leather properly.

    Is this machine up to the task, and are "walking feet" available for them?

    Thank you.


    1. Hi Don, Don't know where to start so I'll just start.

      Modern auto leather is pretty stiff; it has a hard surface and so needs pretty good punching power. The 360 will do 2 layers no problem but if you get to 4 that may be different.

      I think walking foot is a really safe choice but they are all industrial machines and can be expensive. A standard industrial would also work but in either case you need to get a slow speed servo motor to replace the production motor... added cost again. With several yrs of sewing behind me I still won't touch one of those production motors; they are kind of "on-off" from 0 to 60 in one second, as a beginner I don't think you will have much fun with that.

      Plan on buying scrap leather as identical as possible and practicing every seam up to doing a complete scrap part before you ever try for a final assembly.

      There are walking foot attachments for domestic machines but they aren't for heavy work.

      There are a lot of little details to the craft of sewing that are unconscious to the person that started sewing when they were 8 years old like mom, for you and I who start later in life it's not always obvious what the hell is going on until you several hours at the pedal.

      good luck, Tom

  2. Hi Tom, I nominated your blog for the Liebster award. Details are on my blog here:

  3. The car really looks like the machine, aerodinamic and those stuff

  4. Hi Tom, I am going to be looking at a 360 this weekend and hopefully it is in good shape. I wondered if you would be willing to give me some pointers on how to 'service' her before getting into really taking her for a spin. I will of course oil her if shes in good working order, other than that the finer aspects of maintenance is a mystery to me. I am good with tools and fixing things.
    thanks in advance

  5. I adore my Pfaff 360 however it is wearing out and it troubles me because I cannot afford a new one and I am so attached to mine. I bought it in Germany in 1960. I now need a new bobbin carriage.

    1. I also bought my Pfaff 360 in Germany in 1960. I bought a new bobbin carriage, thought I lost mine, found it later. I had to replace the best with a used one. Did find a new one after the fact. Saved the new one just in case. Mine to is wearing out and I just can't stand the thought. It would sew through anything but not now. I am like you I cannot aford a new one. I love my 360. Don't want any machine except a Pfaff. These repairmen now a days can't work on these lovely old machines. They only mess them up.

  6. I inherited a Pfaff 360 machine in it's original cabinet. It looks pristine, especially for its age, but I'm not sure what the value on something like this. Can someone point me in the right direction for info and assistance.
    Thank you,

    1. Ebay & Craigslist, EBay can be misleading because it reaches a huge market, locally you may only get 1/2 of that.

  7. BSM Company supplier of Industrial Sewing Machine.we are dealing all type Direct Drive Motor Power/Energy Saving Machine, Industrial Sewing Machine Supplier. Juki, Brother,Jack Sewing Machine

  8. Sorry, corredtion; I replaced the 'BELT' (not best)
    Peggy Wilson Dobbs

  9. Picked up a Pfaff 360 with a wooden sewing table in superb condition yesterday at a Goodwill store for $108. I would have been able to return it if it didn't work. Needed to tinker with the setting a bit, as I think folks turned this and turned that to see if it would run. I actually followed the included manual and now it is sewing fine. Undoubtedly wouldn't hurt to have it cleaned, oiled, and serviced for preventive maintenance.

  10. Hi my name is Gina, I am ok a sewing thanks to my grandma who was a professional seamstress. She showed me the basics I am definately lacking. Anyways she was originally from germany they imigrated before I was born. I believe she brought this machine with her then. she recently passed away and I am left with all her machines. Her favorite the Pfaff 360 mounted in a wooden sewing table.It works perfectly. I am curious about how much this machine is worth? do you know much about older sergers? I was really excited when I found the pic of the machine and your blog I am not much of a computer person but am interested to learn more about the machine. thanks

    1. Hi Gina, selling machines (or anything) is really about the number of potential buyers you have access to.
      Start with Ebay to determine the MAXIMUM price possible, then post at about 1/2 the EBay average on Craigslist, good luck

  11. I purchased a 360 Pfaff for $27.00 it is a beauty. I know Pfaff have purchased new in late 60's early 70.1222E what a dream machine, purchased roses my two boys designed jeans,flat field seams. I took in home sewing to pay for it. Granddaughter still using, Next machine Pfaff 1472 still use as spare, Xmas gift Quilt Expression 4.2 . I will always love and use Pfaff. Pfaff should gift me a Pfaff I have been so loyal to them,

  12. Disregard Rose above auto change when lost was saying purchase because needed to make my boys the designerjeans