Added Jun 1, 2010
Finally, here is the final product with me wearing the vest. Here are a few final comments about this design. I think when I remake it, I will make somewhat larger top-opening battery pouches with a snap-down top that can accommodate a variety of battery sizes. Where I can get away with it, I will use wiring as this is clearly more robust than conductive thread for many of these applications. I like the snap-down panel principle, but it can make the vest somewhat voluminous at the back - a cleaner look would be achieved by building the circuits directly into the fabric all the way. The use of "fabric conduits" to channel the wiring also seems to be very effective - I expect to systematize the use of such conduits in future incarnations of the vest (or other e-garments). The design also needs to include an accessible on-off switch. Good luck with your efforts - I hope you find my instructions and ideas useful!
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The oversized shape has a cool bell shaped silhouette with a wide body and fitted sleeves
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