Thus far I have seen the following translations of this phrase:
to do with yourself
Chrome translations of this phrase as found somewhat intermittently in various German newspapers
- (reflexive) to do (to fare or perform (well or poorly))
- (reflexive) to look (to have an appearance of being) Der Mantel macht sich sehr schön. ― The coat looks very nice.
- (reflexive dative, colloquial) to get cracking (an (“on,” “with”)), get a move on (it), to get down (an (“to”)) (something); (in imperative:) come on, let's go
Reflexive definitions listed for "machen" at Wiktionary
to get on
One of several definitions listed for Tureng's entry for "sich machen," but this is the very first one listed.
to take care of yourself
to make something of yourself
to be arranged
Reverso, using a German to English translation
I've seen this rather daunting list at dict.cc:
and I get what's happening there, but overall, the sources I've consulted with on this seem to be a bit all over the board on this. So, I still don't know what the phrase "sich machen" without any further contextual clues (as seen in the dict.cc list) means to most Germans. My guess is that in the most simplest of explanations it means "to do something with oneself."
In terms of my ability to use this phrase "sich machen," I think I could manage to cobble together sentences according to the translations dict.cc (and some others have provided), but outside of such specificity, my concern would be that something would get lost in translation and that I would do well to simply find another way to express such phrases as "to improve" or "to be arranged." What advice on this phrase would you give to students of German, especially those at the intermediate level or below?