I often pick up items for my collection very cheaply because they are in poor condition, if they are repairable I can often add a nice item to my collection for an amount I can afford. A case in point is this tank suit, bought cheaply as one of the long zips was broken and the base of one trouser leg was badly burnt and torn.
Commonly named a pixie suit after a popular toddlers one piece suit of the time; the tank suit is a heavy weight cotton overall designed to be used by tank crewmen. It is festooned with pockets and has two full length zips down both legs to allow easy access. It is also designed to include an integral rescue harness that will support the weight of a man if he needs to be dragged, unconscious, out of a knocked out tank.
I bought this suit about eighteen months ago, but it has been sat in a box ever since as I have tried to track down a period zip. These have proved very hard to find due to the extreme length of the zip needed. Eventually I got lucky and found a period tent zip of suitable size on eBay. A couple of evenings work with the sewing machine and the suit is wearable again, even if not quite as good as the day it was made.
This shows that with a few basic skills it is possible to bring back an otherwise junked item to allow it to live on in your collection, and hopefully I will get a suitable re-enacting event to showcase my latest finished piece.