late 14c., "created, wrought, fabricated, constructed" (of words, stories, etc.), from Middle English maked, from Old English macod "made," past participle of macian "to make" (see make (v.)). From 1570s as "artificially produced, formed independently of natural development."
To be a made man "placed beyond the reach of want, assured of reward or success" is in Marlowe's "Faust" (1590). To have it made (1955) is American English colloquial. Made-to-order (adj.) "made according to the customer's specifications" is by 1905 in advertisements, from the verbal phrase. Grose's dictionary of slang and cant (1785) has for this word a tart definition: "MADE. Stolen. Cant."
Made up (adj.) in earliest use was "consummate, accomplished" (c. 1600), but this is obsolete. As "put together from parts from various sources" it is by 1670s. As "artificially prepared for the purpose of deception," by 1773. Of minds, "settled, decided," by 1788.
c. 1300, from Anglo-French tailour, Old French tailleor "tailor," also "stone-mason" (13c., Modern French tailleur), literally "a cutter," from tailler "to cut," from Late Latin or old Medieval Latin taliare "to split" (compare Medieval Latin taliator vestium "a cutter of clothes"), from Latin talea "a slender stick, rod, staff; a cutting, twig."
Although historically the tailor is the cutter, in the trade the 'tailor' is the man who sews or makes up what the 'cutter' has shaped. [OED]
The post-Latin sense development would be "piece of a plant cut for grafting," hence a verb, "cut a shoot," then, generally, "to cut." Possible cognates include Sanskrit talah "wine palm," Old Lithuanian talokas "a young girl," Greek talis "a marriageable girl" (for sense, compare slip of a girl, twiggy), Etruscan Tholna, name of the goddess of youth.
Kent. ... You cowardly rascal, nature disclaims in thee; a tailor made thee.
Corn. Thou art a strange fellow: a tailor make a man?
Kent. Ay, a tailor, sir: a stone cutter, or a painter, could not have made him so ill, though they had been but two hours at the trade.
One who makes outer garments to order, as opposed to a clothier, who makes them for sale ready-made. Tailor-made first recorded 1832 (in a figurative sense); literal sense was "heavy and plain, with attention to exact fit and with little ornamentation," as of women's garments made by a tailor rather than a dress-maker.
1660s, from tailor (n.). Figurative sense of "to design (something) to suit needs" is attested from 1942. Related: Tailored; tailoring.
1610s, "made by ones own actions or efforts," from self- + made. Self-made man is attested from 1826, American English; the notion is "having attained material success in life without extraneous advantages."
This expression, in the sense in which I here use it, is perhaps peculiar to our own country ; for it denotes a class of men to be found in no other part of the world. It is true, that in Europe there have been those, who, having a bent of the mind, or a genius, as it is called, for some particular employment, have by their own unassisted, persevering efforts, risen to eminence in their favorite pursuit. But the self-made men of our country differ much from these. Genius in them is sterling common senses ; and their object was not the gratification of the mind in some strong predilection for a favorite employment, but rather the attainment of those intellectual habits and resources, which might prepare them for usefulness, and give them influence and eminence among their fellow men. [Samuel P. Newman, "Address Delivered Before the Benevolent Society of Bowdoin College, Tuesday Evening, Sept. 5, 1826"]
early 15c., "prepared," from the verbal phrase make ready (mid-14c. as "prepare;" late 14c. as "put in order"); see make (v.) + ready (adj.). Applied figuratively, and often disparagingly, to a thing or person seeming to exist in a finished or complete form (1738). As the name of a dada art style, 1915 (Duchamp). Ready-to-wear, of clothing, "ready made," is by 1890.
1550s, "small piece of cut-out cloth," probably from Dutch or Low German snippen "to snip, shred," of imitative origin. Meaning "cut made by scissors" is from 1590s. As a nickname or cant word for a tailor, 1590s. Snip-snap-snorum, the card game, is 1755, from Low German.