I started the change from cheerful normal Hobbit dress to steampunked Hobbit cook by taking away the colourful elements, sobering up the look to give it the Victorian style that usually underlies steampunk costumes.
1. Replace the yellow blouse with a white one - fortunately, a style that I have in my closet.
2. Replace the coloured apron with a black and white striped one - new cotton fabric purchased for this purpose, sewn yesterday.
3. Cover the coloured trim on the bodice with a black velvet ribbon - from my stash, just barely the right length, but it works! Hand sewn over the existing trim so it can be removed should I want the original look back. Also replace blue cord lacing with black leather band - existing in my collection of stuff.
I think I will hike the apron up on both sides to achieve the layered effect I've seen on other steampunk skirts.
I don't think the dress itself needs more detail - the accessories will add enough busyness.
I'm pleased with the changed look so far - amazing how much difference trim makes!
Next step: accessorize. Today's task - sewing a white, lace-trimmed mob cap.