An A-line is a skirt that gradually extends outwards from the waist (or hip) towards the hemline, creating a triangular shape (or the shape of an 'A' as the name suggests).
The shape is created by eliminating the darts and redistributing the fullness towards the hemline.
To create an A-line silhouette, you will need to eliminate both the front and back darts.
Starting with the front pattern, draw a line, parallel to the centre front that extends from the tip of the dart, down to the hemline (if you have two darts - draw lines down from both dart points).
From the hemline, cut along this line, until you are 1-2mm from the dart point.
Cut down the outside dart arm, towards the dart point. Make sure you do not cut through the pattern.
You need to leave a 1-2 millimeter "hinge" in place, so that the two (or more - depending on how many darts your pattern has) parts of your pattern remain attached.
Now that you have cut along these two lines, you will be able to open and close your dart with ease.
Close the waist dart by rotating the pattern, until the cut dart arm sits on top of the other dart arm.
Once in position, tape in place,
You will see that, by closing the dart, you have opened up the hemline, giving the skirt an A-line shape.
Take a separate piece of pattern paper and use a weight to hold the pattern in place, on top of the paper. Trace around the pattern, transferring all necessary markings onto the new pattern.
You will need to redraw the hemline and the waistline, turning the angular lines into smooth curves.
Once all the lines have been transferred, you can remove the original pattern.
Redraw the hip line, as a smooth curve.
Repeat steps for back pattern piece.
You can finish the pattern at this stage, by considering where the opening/closure will be (will it have a back or side zip? Or buttons down the centre front?) You will also need to think about whether your pattern will have a waistband or waist facing, as well as creating the pattern for a hem facing.
To finish, add seam allowance.
This pattern is slightly fitted around the hips (as you can see by looking at the curve of the hip). If you would prefer to create a more exaggerated A-line silhouette, then follow the next steps in this tutorial.
Take a ruler and line it up with the side seam, at the waist line.
Redraw the side seam as a straight line, this will remove any shaping for the hip.
Redraw the hemline, by continuing the original hemline until it intersects with the new side seam.
To complete the pattern add seam allowance, work out whether your pattern will be having a waistband or waist facing, where the closure or fastening will be located, and create a hem facing, to finish the hemline.